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Police arrest 2nd man in armed robbery, seek other suspects

It is believed the victim was intentionally targeted, and no public safety threats have been identified, according to police.

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BRAINERD — The Brainerd Police Department arrested a second man in the Dec. 28 armed robbery of a man in Bane Park.

Law enforcement is currently searching for the remaining suspects, and Brainerd Deputy Police Chief John Davis said there is no threat to public safety as the robbery was not a random act.

Ethan Malachi Martinez, a 21-year-old Brainerd resident, was positively identified by the victim in a surveillance video, according to police.

Martinez was charged Tuesday, Jan. 4, with first-degree aiding and abetting aggravated robbery and first-degree conspiring to commit aggravated robbery, both felonies.

According to the criminal complaint, Martinez told officers he knew why they were there to talk to him. He said four people came to his apartment Dec. 28 and talked about committing a robbery of the 21-year-old victim. Martinez was involved in the conversation and went to purchase the BB gun for the group. The conversation about robbing the victim continued when they returned to the apartment. Martinez said he decided he no longer wanted to be part of the robbery and the group left.

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The complaint stated the victim went to Bane Park to sell a TV to someone he knew. After meeting in the southeast parking lot nearest the bike trail, the victim reported two males pointed black handguns at him and said they would be taking the TV and everything from his pockets “for free.”

Officers located Martinez after a surveillance video showed him buying a BB gun used in the robbery as the weapon was purchased in Brainerd. The obtained video showed four people in the store with the suspect making the purchase. The victim confirmed to officers that Martinez was not present during the robbery.

Taking the TV, cellphone and all of the personal items from the victim’s pockets, the suspects drove away from Bane Park in what was described as an older model dark-colored Chevrolet Trailblazer, according to police.

The victim then ran to a neighboring house where the owner was outside shoveling and asked him to call the police to report the robbery. The homeowner told officers prior to the victim’s arrival, the suspected vehicle drove past his house at a high rate of speed toward South Seventh Street. The victim stated the driver was a female.

Investigators previously announced a 19-year-old Hillman man was taken into custody Dec. 29 in Buffalo County, Wisconsin, for a Crow Wing County arrest warrant related to this investigation. Criminal charges are pending his extradition to Minnesota.

Martinez’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 18 at the Crow Wing County Judical Center.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Brainerd Police Department at 218-829-2805.

Related Topics: CRIME AND COURTS
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