Martinez Gold Shop robbed

Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009 2:48 PM
Last updated 7:07 PM
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Columbia County authorities arrested two people and are looking for two more in connection with today's armed robbery of a Martinez jewelry store.

Police charged Gerson Ayala-Romero, 25, of McMinnville, Tenn., and Elisa Yojana, 24, of Atlanta, with armed robbery, theft by taking motor vehicle and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime, said Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.

Two men remained at large, Capt. Morris said.

According to witnesses, three people entered the Gold Shop at 3817 Washington Road about 2:30 p.m. with two guns and a knife and demanded jewelry. The store clerk handed over jewelry and the robbers also stole keys to an employee’s red Ford Mustang.

A fourth man was outside the store in a red Toyota Camry, in which the robbers arrived at the store, Capt. Morris said.

The robbers fled the scene in the Mustang, which they abandoned in the front yard of a home on Murray Road, less than a mile away.

Ms. Yojana was found under the home and Mr. Ayala-Romero was arrested in a yard behind the home.

Police dogs tracked a third person into the Wynngate subdivision off Old Petersburg Road. Police searched the area for about two hours, but did not locate any other suspects, Capt. Morris said.

“We are reasonably sure they are no longer in the area,” Capt. Morris said, and he suspects they’ve fled to South Carolina in the Camry.

During the search, the nearby South Columbia Elementary School was put on soft lockdown. Car riders were released cautiously and buses were delayed for a short time, Capt. Morris said.

The robbery affected more than the jewelry store owner and the school.

Bobbi Devereux, in Washington state, said her best friend, Anna Huggins, called her Thursday afternoon with a big story. Ms. Huggins and her fiance, Nic Ziglar, both of Moncks Corner, S.C., were scheduled to be married at 5 p.m. Thursday in an Aiken chapel. Ms. Huggins told Ms. Devereux that she kicked her fiance out of their Columbia County hotel room Thursday afternoon while she got ready.

Mr. Ziglar decided to have the rings polished at the Gold Shop and ended up in the middle of the armed robbery. Ms. Devereux said.

“They are late,” Ms. Devereux said. “Who expects that? You will remember this forever.”

Reach Valerie Rowell at (706) 868-1222, ext. 110 or

valerie.rowell@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (17) Add comment
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onecatfish
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onecatfish 09/10/09 - 03:05 pm
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Jenna, Is that what they pay
Unpublished

Jenna, Is that what they pay you to do all day? Dang that is a good job to have. Report all the news from the radio scanner. Now we know were all the storys come from.

BOBO
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BOBO 09/10/09 - 03:05 pm
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run run run

run run run

dashiel
176
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dashiel 09/10/09 - 03:20 pm
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The suspects have now freed

The suspects have now freed themselves from Ms. Martin's which clause, abandoned their red car, appropriated a new objective pronoun and are fleeing on foot down Martinez Boulevard.

mtb
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mtb 09/10/09 - 03:26 pm
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I am so thankful that nobody

I am so thankful that nobody was hurt.

ladybug1
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ladybug1 09/10/09 - 03:53 pm
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BOBO, they might just run to

BOBO, they might just run to your house!

IsAmericaFree
47
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IsAmericaFree 09/10/09 - 03:54 pm
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The least the AC could have

The least the AC could have done was add that the local elementary school was placed under lockdown. That way us parents would know because the school didn't think it would be wise to tell us so close to dismal time.

mrlonglelgs
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mrlonglelgs 09/10/09 - 04:06 pm
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red conv for get away car

red conv for get away car great planning dumb crook news.

MartinezMom
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MartinezMom 09/10/09 - 04:10 pm
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I'm just glad nobody was

I'm just glad nobody was hurt!

Dixieman
14942
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Dixieman 09/10/09 - 04:27 pm
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dismal time at the public

dismal time at the public school is during the day; 3:30 is dismissal time

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 09/10/09 - 04:51 pm
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I hope they catch them.

I hope they catch them. Maybe we will get lucky and they will resist arrest and save the taxpayers a lot of money!1

IsAmericaFree
47
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IsAmericaFree 09/10/09 - 04:54 pm
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It's been over an hour and

It's been over an hour and this brilliant reporter hasn't updated. They've caught 1 and are looking for another male, supposedly armed, and a female, both Hispanic. I've heard other reports that the girl left her purse in the get away car that they ditched off Murray Road.

kmbanks413
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kmbanks413 09/10/09 - 05:34 pm
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Police were searching the

Police were searching the woods behind some houses in Wynngate on reports of a resident seeing 2 people there.

dglvr
0
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dglvr 09/10/09 - 07:18 pm
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They caught one on Old

They caught one on Old Petersburg an hour ago.

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 09/10/09 - 07:50 pm
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Great Job CCSO Deputies and

Great Job CCSO Deputies and K-9 Units. Thanks for your dedication in keeping our area safe and free of these viloent thugs.

humbleopinion
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humbleopinion 09/10/09 - 10:02 pm
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Don't they know that it's

Don't they know that it's safer to just steal trailers?

sassygirl12
1
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sassygirl12 09/10/09 - 10:11 pm
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i bet they are illegal

i bet they are illegal immigrants...get rid of them

ham.tate
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ham.tate 09/10/09 - 11:03 pm
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Humbleopinion- I can't help

Humbleopinion- I can't help but notice that you have made the same post on several articles alluding to the Weinberger trailer theft. Are you that desperate to make that "joke?" Give it a rest.

MO-MONEY-MO-PROBLEMZ
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MO-MONEY-MO-PROBLEMZ 09/10/09 - 11:22 pm
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no wonder y i saw so many

no wonder y i saw so many squad cars on old petersburg earlier today

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