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Man is charged for armed robbery in Republic

 Jerlonni Wallace (Greene County jail)
Jerlonni Wallace (Greene County jail) (KY3)
Published: Nov. 15, 2016 at 1:49 PM CST
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A man from Republic is charged with robbing a convenience store last Thursday night while wearing a mask and carrying a handgun. Police say Jerlonni Wallace, 32, groped one store clerk and threatened to shoot two clerks during the robbery.

The robbery was about 11 p.m. at the Casey’s at 604 N. Main St. in Republic. The probable cause statement used as the basis of the charges against Wallace says the robber wore a white mask, a hooded jacket, red tennis shoes and carried a small handgun.

When the robber went in the store, he put the handgun to the back of a female clerk and began “groping” her. The clerk said the robber told her not to say a word, and forced her toward the cash registers.

When a male clerk approached, the robber pushed the woman into the cash register area, grabbed the man, put the gun in his back, and screamed for him to open a safe.

When the clerk said he couldn’t open the safe, the robber grabbed some rolls of quarters and nickels that were around the safe and had the clerk empty two cash registers of their bills. The clerk was able to activate a silent alarm.

After getting cash, the robber cursed at the clerks and told them that they were lucky he didn’t shoot them. He then fled on foot.

The clerks told police that the robber had been in the store just before he robbed it and bought a can of beer. Two managers arrived and looked at store video. They told police that they recognized the robber as a regular customer. They also knew that he’d been in a traffic crash in the area recently. That information led police to Wallace and his apartment on Cedar Avenue in Republic.

Republic police were watching the apartment complex a few hours later when Wallace arrived as a passenger in a car. Officers detained Wallace and found he was carrying a magazine for a .380 handgun. Inside the car and in Wallace’s clothes, officers found $537. They also found two rolls of quarters in the car’s glove box. The driver told police he didn’t know anything about the robbery or the money, and said Wallace asked him for a ride.

At the police station, a detective wrote in the probable cause statement, Wallace admitted to the robbery. He said at first that he didn’t use a gun and just used his finger. Later, the detective wrote, Wallace said he had a handgun that he dropped as he fled from the store. He helped police find the .380 handgun, plus a distinctive coat that he wore when he went into the store to buy the beer before the robbery and the hooded sweatshirt and mask that he wore during the robbery.

Police say Wallace was convicted of forgery twice in 2006. That conviction makes it illegal for him to possess a firearm. Prosecutors also wrote in a request for a $50,000 bond that Wallace has a “lengthy criminal history out of Illinois and Wisconsin, including multiple felony forgery convictions.”

Wallace is charged with first-degree robbery, armed criminal action, and unlawful possession of a firearm. Prosecutors charged Wallace on Friday, the day after the robbery, but the courts were closed for Veterans Day, so the charged weren’t revealed until Monday.