Pawn America shooting suspect arrested

Marvin Spencer Sr.

Derrick Lynch

Marvin Lee Clinton Spencer Jr.

Shooter 'didn't know gun was loaded,' son photographed with stolen rings

Roseville police announced Aug. 28 that the suspected shooter in the Pawn America robbery that wounded an employee last month had been caught.

The department reported Marvin Spencer Sr., 51, was arrested on Tuesday, Aug. 26, after the Moline, Illinois SWAT team surrounded a home and took him into custody. 

The Moline Police Department reportedly received a tip that Spencer was there, and he "gave himself up without incident," according to a release from the department.

Spencer is currently awaiting extradition to Ramsey County to face multiple charges, including one count of attempted intentional second-degree murder, first-degree aggravated robbery, possession of a firearm by an ineligible person and two counts of second-degree assault. Bail is set at $1 million.

Entered store with 'guns a-blazing'

Several new details about the case have come to light as investigators interviewed the suspects.

Originally, it was reported that Spencer Sr., and his son, Marvin Lee Clinton Spencer Jr., 25, robbed the Pawn America store located at 1715 N. Rice Street in Roseville and shot an employee in the leg July 21.

Police said the two suspects entered the store "with guns a-blazing" and made off with thousands of dollars of fine jewelry and watches within minutes after one of the suspects allegedly smashed a display case and Spencer Sr. shot a 27-year-old store clerk in the lower leg.

However, it was later revealed that his son was not involved with the robbery, but instead Derrick Lynch, 51, of St. Paul was the one who smashed the display case by dropping a heavy bag on it. Lynch is charged with three counts of aggravated first-degree robbery.

Spencer Jr. was arrested July 29 at a Dekalb County, Georgia, hotel after a tipster reportedly heard him and another man bragging about recently having robbed the store. The two were "wearing a lot of jewelry," the tipster told investigators. Spencer Jr. is believed to have helped sell the stolen jewelry, and police were able to recover images taken on Spencer Jr.'s cell phone that show him wearing rings apparently still bearing Pawn America price tags.

Spencer Jr. has been charged with two counts of aiding and abetting aggravated robbery.

Roseville Police Lt. Rosand said the Spencer Sr. and Lynch allegedly stole about $78,000 worth of jewelry from Pawn America, according to the store's wholesale valuations. The jewelry had a retail value of about $200,000.

Another individual, Andrea Martin, 68, of St. Paul is believed by police to have been a passenger in the getaway vehicle, though her involvement in the robbery is currently unclear, Rosand said. Martin was arrested and released, and charges are pending.

Suspect allegedly admits to shooting

Spencer Sr. was at large for more than a month, eluding investigators even after they located the getaway vehicle the two men reportedly used during the robbery.

During an interview the day he was arrested, Spencer Sr. allegedly told police he was the shooter, and said he did not know the gun was loaded.

Spencer Sr. has several previous felony charges in Minnesota, including felony first-degree aggravated robbery charges from 2000, Lynch was convicted of felony-level arson in 2010, and Spencer Jr. was convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault in 2010.

Spencer Jr. is charged with three counts of aggravated robbery.

"Roseville detectives have essentially closed out the Pawn America investigation with Spencer Senior's arrest and have indicated it is unlikely additional arrests will be made," a police statement said.

Rosand added that the department was "very pleased with the closure of the case" and said it was "good old-fashioned police work" that led to the four suspects' arrest.

"The evidence collected by our investigators at the scene was so strong," Rosand said. "[And] it was each of them pointing fingers at each other [that led to their arrest]."

Johanna Holub can be reached at or 651-748-7813. Follow her on Twitter @jholubnews.

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