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Interstate robbing crew tied to Gwinnett heist

LOGANVILLE -- Gwinnett police detectives say they've tied a robbing crew caught in Alabama to a Loganville pawn shop heist in July that netted more than $100,000 in cash and valuables.

Gwinnett investigators have secured 18 felony warrants against a trio of suspects on charges of armed robbery, false imprisonment and theft by taking of a motor vehicle. They face similar charges in two Alabama counties and Macon, police said. All await extradition to Gwinnett.

A fourth suspect is under investigation but has yet to be charged, police said.

Police in Tarrant, Ala., near Birmingham responded last month to a robbery in progress at a pawn shop and arrested two suspects -- Sergiani Grullon and Antonio Garcia -- after a high-speed chase involving a stolen car. Two others got away.

During interviews, Tarrant police reportedly got the names of the accomplices who fled. The crew's modus operandi matched that of four robbers who hit a pawn shop on Athens Highway on July 29, and Gwinnett police were notified of the capture.

Victims in Loganville were able to finger Grullon and the third suspect -- Omar Castillo -- in photographic line-ups constructed by Gwinnett police, said department spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli.

Castillo is incarcerated in the Fulton County Jail, while the other two remain in the custody of Alabama authorities. More charges are expected.

Some items taken from the Loganville pawn shop -- worth a total of $105,584 -- were recovered in Alabama and identified as coming from the local store, Schiralli said.

According to a Gwinnett police report, the crew posed as shoppers that July morning in Loganville, haggling a store manager over the worth of a gold necklace.

The crew reportedly held two employees and a manager at gunpoint, bound them and threatened to shoot if they moved. They fled with more than $7,000 in cash, the pawned items and the manager's 2008 Kia Optima, which was recovered nearby a few hours later, the report says.