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Friday, January 12, 2018 1:00 am

2 accused of liquor store robbery in police custody

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Police have arrested two men who allegedly robbed a liquor store on the city's south side.

One of the men, Gregory L. Garland, 38, of the 2200 block of South Harrison Street, is also charged with robbing two other businesses – both charity-based agencies – in the past week.

Garland and Eddrell D. Scott, 31, robbed Belmont Beverage, 1414 E. Tillman Road, on Jan. 3, police say.

Scott, of the 6500 block of Bristol Road, threatened a female employee with a gun before emptying two registers of cash as Garland tried to distract another employee and stole alcohol, according to court documents filed Thursday in Allen Superior Court.

Charges are pending against Garland in that case. Scott, who was arrested hours after Fort Wayne police surrounded a downtown home where they believed he was holed up Wednesday, is charged with armed robbery with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest.

Garland was arrested Monday after allegedly robbing Blue Jacket Inc. and the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store last week. He swiped a total of $250 from the stores on South Calhoun Street, court documents say, and told police he committed the robberies to pay drug debts.

Fort Wayne Police Department spokesman Michael Joyner announced about 8:30 a.m. Thursday that Scott had been captured. A statement saying Garland was tied to the liquor store robbery came about six hours later.

A retired Fort Wayne police officer helped lead investigators to Scott. Court documents say Cornell Wiley identified him from photos pulled from surveillance video given to The Journal Gazette and other media.

Wiley saw a news report “and was positive that suspect #2, the one in the black coat, was Eddrell Scott,” a probable cause affidavit states.

Scott's girlfriend and the female employee also identified him as one of the robbers.

He was arrested after a traffic stop on Winter Street, south of Senate Avenue, about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, more than seven hours after police encircled a home in the 400 block of Brackenridge Street. Scott fought with officers trying to arrest him, court documents say.

Garland allegedly robbed the Blue Jacket store Jan. 4 and the St. Vincent de Paul store the following day. He took money from the cash register and made his escape on a bicycle after each robbery, police say.

He evaded police both times but returned to Blue Jacket on Monday and was recognized as the man who had robbed the store. Police were called and chased Garland between houses in the area.

A Taser was used to subdue Garland, who did not obey commands to get on the ground, a police report says.

“He had a calm look on his face and had a thousand mile stare,” the report says.

Garland admitted to the thrift store robberies after he was taken into custody, police said. He is charged with two separate counts of robbery and two misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest.

mleblanc@jg.net