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Accused robber held over for trial

August 29, 2003|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

A former Michaels Arts & Crafts store employee charged with robbing the store with a toy gun and, later, with hiding in a crawl space in his former roommate's Frederick, Md., home was bound over for trial Thursday after a preliminary hearing in Washington County District Court.

Judge R. Noel Spence said he found probable cause to send Robin Eugene Lewis' case on to Washington County Circuit Court.

Lewis, 36, was taken into custody by Rehoboth Beach Police after police found him working at the Double Dipper Ice Cream parlor and using his roommate's name, Washington County Sheriff's Cpl. Roy Harsh said after the preliminary hearing.

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After the April 2 armed robbery at Michaels at 17225 Cole Road, Lewis was living in a crawl space in the home of his former roommate, Aaron Smith, Harsh said.

Lewis fled the home, allegedly stealing Smith's sport-utility vehicle, after he was discovered at the home on May 10, police have said. The vehicle later was recovered in Delaware, police said.

During Thursday's preliminary hearing, Harsh testified that his investigation found that on April 2 the Michaels' department manager, Patrick Albright, was heading into the store's locked money room with the day's receipts when he was robbed.

A silver-colored, revolver style handgun was displayed and it wasn't until a scuffle with the robber that Albright realized it was a toy, Harsh testified.

Albright's legs and arms were bound with duct tape and his eyes covered with tape, according to Harsh and charging documents in District Court.

Witnesses said something was covering the suspect's face, but they gave police a general description of the suspect, Harsh said.

Police found $5,974 in cash and checks were stolen, according to Harsh and charging documents.

Police later found a Notre Dame ball cap, the toy gun and $3,115 in blue money bags in a canvas bag near an embankment behind the store, Harsh testified. A woman driving behind the store the night of the robbery had called police to say she had seen a man climb over the embankment that night, he said.

The hat belonged to Smith, Harsh testified.

According to Harsh, Lewis had called Smith for a ride on the night of the robbery, but Smith said he would not pick him up after discovering he was involved in the Michaels robbery.

Police found tangled duct tape, latex gloves, scissors, box cutters and Michaels paycheck stubs in Lewis' Chevy, Harsh testified.

A piece of latex glove had been found on the duct tape at the crime scene, Harsh said.

Lewis was charged with armed robbery, robbery, theft of $500 or more, first- and second-degree assault, false imprisonment and reckless endangerment, according to charging documents.

Lewis was being held at the Washington County Detention Center on Thursday on $200,000 bond, a jail official said.

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