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Homeless man arrested for alleged aggravated robbery of phone store

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A reportedly homeless man was arrested Tuesday evening about 30 minutes after he allegedly robbed employees of a local phone store who believed he was armed with a gun.

Matthew Junior Norwood, 64, who lists no permanent address, was taken into custody shortly after 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and charged with felony counts of aggravated robbery, punishable by up to life in prison, and possession of drug paraphernalia, punishable by up to six years, and a misdemeanor count of theft of property.

Norwood, who was having medical complications, was transported to a local hospital where he remained under guard until he can be taken into custody on the charges, Hot Springs police Cpl. Kirk Zaner said Wednesday.

Norwood was being held on zero bond at the Garland County Detention Center and he is set to appear Dec. 19 in Garland County District Court.

According to the affidavit, shortly after 6 p.m., police responded to the Cricket Store, 155 E. Grand Ave., Suite A, to a robbery that had just occurred and made contact with two female employees who both stated an unknown black male, who appeared to be homeless, had entered the store.

He approached the side of one of the glass counters and told one employee, "Gimme your money," and "I'm not playing." He then ordered her to open the register and she complied, removing the tray and placing it on the counter.

The man took the money out of the tray and then grabbed the employee's cellphone, which was also on the counter. Then he approached the second employee, who was seated toward the front of the store, and demanded her cellphone.

The second employee gave him her phone and both employees noted that while in the store the man held his hand "under his jacket and away from his body" so they believed he had a firearm concealed under his shirt.

The man fled the store headed east on Grand. One employee told police she had a "track my phone" app on her phone which indicated her phone was in the area of McDonald's, 200 E. Grand. Officers responded to the restaurant and located Norwood, who matched the clothing and physical description provided by both employees.

Police drove the two victims by the suspect and one identified him as the suspect who had robbed her. The second employee said "I think so" when asked if it was the same person.

Norwood was brought in for questioning and reportedly had $310 in cash, a small glass pipe commonly used for smoking crack cocaine, and one victim's cellphone in his possession. The other cellphone was not located. Norwood denied committing the robbery, but allegedly admitted he may have been in the store earlier in the day.

Local on 12/07/2017

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