By Ray King
A Pine Bluff man was arrested Wednesday and accused of robbing the same store three times over a two-month period.
Demetrius Nelson, 29, was accused of taking money from the convenience store at 31st Avenue and Hazel Street in April and early June and trying to take money in late June before the store clerk ran to the back of the store.
During a court hearing Friday, Deputy Prosecutor Jay Girard said the same clerk was working at the store on all three instances.
Detective Deshawn Bennett said in a probable cause affidavit that the first robbery occurred April 13 when a man wearing a hoodie, a mask and black and grey shoes approached the clerk and demanded money. The clerk told police the man had his hand in a pocket of the hoodie as if he had a weapon and said he gave the man money because he was scared.
The same man returned to the store and tried to kick the access door to the counter while threating to kill the clerk numerous times. Store security video showed the man holding a large knife with a brown handle.
After the third incident, Bennett said police released pictures of the suspect on social media and received tip that led to Nelson, who lived on Fair Oaks behind the store. When detectives went there, they were let in by Nelson’s mother who consented to a search of the house where officers found a large knife with a brown handle.
After Nelson was taken to the Detective Office for questioning, he reportedly admitted to the robberies.
On Friday, Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set a $150,000 bond for Nelson after ruling prosecutors have probable cause to charge him with three counts of aggravated robbery, theft of property and terroristic threatening. Nelson was ordered to have no contact with the clerk until the cases are settled. He said he would hire his own attorney.