St. Thomas man arrested in connection with armed robbery of a barbershop
Published: June 5, 2014
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ST. THOMAS - V.I. Police have arrested a St. Thomas man in connection with the armed robbery of a barbershop.
V.I. police arrested Shacoi "Spitz" Benjamin, who was on parole for a separate robbery, on Tuesday and charged him with first-degree robbery, grand larceny, third-degree assault and three counts of possession of an unlicensed firearm during the commission of a crime.
Benjamin, who appeared in court Wednesday for his advice of rights, is accused of robbing the Lifestyle Barbershop some time after 3 p.m. May 1.
An employee of the shop had two customers, one a visitor from New York and one from St. Thomas, in the shop at the time, according to the probable cause fact sheet.
The employee noticed two men walk past the shop and figured that they were interested in getting haircuts, according to the fact sheet written by Detective Sehkera Tyson.
Instead, the men entered the shop and one of them grabbed and walked away with the employee's backpack, Tyson wrote.
The backpack contained the employee's rent money, $1,500, about $300 worth of CDs and some DVDs, the employee told police.
Initially, the employee was puzzled, and then made a sudden movement and the man pulled out a chrome handgun from near his waist and pointed the gun at the employee, according to the probable cause fact sheet.
"Don't follow me! Don't follow me!" the man told the employee, as the employee recalled to police.
The other man was standing as a lookout, the employee told police, and the employee said the other man also was holding a gun.
The two ran in a northern direction, where the employee believed that there was a surveillance camera, after which the employee later identified one of the two men as a stabbing victim from earlier this year.
Benjamin was on parole after charges of first-degree robbery in connection with a 2011 Kirwan Terrace housing community robbery. Benjamin, who was 19 at the time, had a clean record prior, but was accused of shooting a man and then snatching gold jewelry from the man's neck after wounding him.
Attorney Hillary Krepistman said that Benjamin's trial ended with a hung jury, and the V.I. Attorney General's Office was likely again pressing the same charges, to her knowledge, hence the parole.
V.I. Superior Court Magistrate Carolyn Hermon-Percell Benjamin's bail at $50,000.
- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.