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Suspect in Kroger robbery arrested in Augusta
An Augusta man has been detained for what turned out to be multiple armed-robbery incidents in the CSRA, including one that occurred Wednesday in the North Augusta Kroger parking lot.
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has secured multiple warrants against Calvin Thomas Jr., 31, of the 3600 block of Quail Hollow Drive in Augusta, for two counts of pointing and presenting a firearm, armed robbery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.
Thomas is being held in the Richmond County Jail and eventually will be returned to South Carolina to face charges in the North Augusta holdup. According to Lt. Tim Thornton of the North Augusta Department of Public Safety, it could be a while before Thomas is brought back to South Carolina.
"He's got so many Georgia charges on him, and Georgia's got their hands on him now," Thornton said.
According to Thornton, Thomas could plead guilty or go to trial in Georgia, and, if he's found guilty and sentenced to prison, he could then be brought to South Carolina to stand trial for the North Augusta Kroger holdup. A prison sentence in Aiken County could run concurrently with any potential sentence in Georgia, Thornton said.
"It'll be a while," Thornton said.
The string of armed robberies began Wednesday at around 9:15 p.m., when a woman exited the Kroger in North Augusta and was loading her groceries and 6-year-old son into her car, according to Thornton. As she cranked her vehicle and prepared to leave, a man stuck a gun in her face and told her he would shoot her son if she didn't give him her purse, Thornton said.
The victim complied, and the suspect then left in a dark-colored minivan.
North Augusta police then learned from a detective with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office that similar incidents were occurring in Augusta involving a black minivan with a suspect committing armed robberies in parking lots, according to Thornton. The detective also advised that Richmond County had identified the suspect as Thomas.
Richmond County police secured a search warrant for Thomas' home, and during the search, Thornton said police arrested Thomas and located a handgun, the minivan, the wallet of the North Augusta victim, as well as a prescription pill bottle with the victim's son's name on it.
Police are continuing to investigate to determine the identity of the minivan driver and believe they know who it is.
"We just haven't been able to cross all the Ts and dot all the Is," Thornton said. "Within the new day or two, at least, we'll know for sure."