Four charged in Lemon Tree robberyIt was definitely not a case of “third time lucky” for the five people who allegedly robbed the Lemon Tree Liquor store in Cloquet last Wednesday night, Aug. 21, the third robbery in Cloquet in less than a week.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
It was definitely not a case of “third time lucky” for the five people who allegedly robbed the Lemon Tree Liquor store in Cloquet last Wednesday night, Aug. 21, the third robbery in Cloquet in less than a week.
Within hours of the robbery — which netted the robbers only $40 — all five were in custody. Stephon Jordan Hall, 20, Lenice Chelsea Antell-White, 20, and a 16-year-old juvenile male were charged with felony simple robbery, while two others — Jayson Curtis Otto, 21, and Aubreanna Elizabeth McKeever, 21 — were charged with aiding and abetting simple robbery in Carlton County Court Friday. Each had a second hearing Tuesday.
According to the criminal complaint:
At approximately 10:09 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, Cloquet Police officers and Carlton County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Lemon Tree Liquor store at 1212 S. Highway 33, for a robbery report.
Lemon Tree employees told officers that shortly after 10 p.m., two black males and one black female entered the store at closing time and forcefully grabbed money from store employees. The suspects — Hall, Antell-White and the male juvenile — were able to grab some of the money, then they ran out of the store and fled on foot. The employee stated the three individuals who ran away had left two other people — Otto and McKeever — sitting in a motor vehicle just outside the store/gas station.
According to the complaint, Hall and Antell-White fled on foot toward McDonald Rental and were arrested a short time after the robbery. Otto and McKeever eventually exited the “getaway” car and attempted to flee the scene on foot. However, both were arrested a short distance away from the car.
The complaint did not give details of the juvenile’s arrest, but a police press release last week noted he was being housed at the Arrowhead Juvenile Center in Duluth.
Assistant Carlton County Attorney Michael Boese explained the charge was simple robbery because there was a threat or use of force but no one was injured.
“It was more than an attempted robbery, because they did get away with some money,” Boese said Wednesday. “Probably not as much as they were hoping for.”
Bail for Antell-White and Hall was set at $3,000. Antell-White’s next hearing is Sept. 11; Hall’s hearing is set for Sept. 9. Bail for Otto and McKeever was set at $2,000. Otto’s next hearing is set for Oct. 10; McKeever’s next court date is Sept. 4.
Cloquet Deputy Police Chief Terry Hill remarked upon the spate of robberies in Cloquet, starting with The Fig Tree aggravated robbery Aug. 16 by two men and two women, followed by a simply robbery of two teenage boys who were walking down a Cloquet street by two men in their early 20s, and ending with the Lemon Tree robbery.
Suspects were arrested in all three robberies, something Hill said was only accomplished through the collaborative efforts of numerous law enforcement agencies — including the Carlton County Sheriff’s Department, the Minnesota State Patrol, St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department, Floodwood Police Department, Fond du Lac Police Department and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — as well as members of the public, who called in tips or other information in both the Fig Tree and the Lemon Tree robberies.
Boese pondered the root cause of the robberies.
“In my opinion, without methamphetamine or heroin in our communities, none of these robberies would have happened,” Boese added.