Man charged in robberies

BY DI STAFF | OCTOBER 09, 2009 7:20 AM

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Police arrested an Iowa City man allegedly connected to two armed gas-station robberies following a Wednesday robbery, Iowa City police reported.

Police charged Benjamin Lewis, 28, with three counts of first-degree robbery, a Class B felony. He was being held at the Johnson County Jail Thursday on $300,000 bond.

Lewis allegedly robbed a Hy-Vee Gas at knife point on Sept. 23 and a Casey’s General Store by knifepoint on Thursday, according to police.

In the Sept. 23 incident, Lewis allegedly walked up to the counter, threatened the clerks and demanded money, according to police. He made off with an undisclosed amount of money.

On Thursday, he allegedly robbed a Casey’s by knifepoint in a similar manner and made off with an undetermined amount of cash. He also allegedly stole $23 from a customer trying to buy a pizza, which landed him a first-degree robbery charge.

Both robberies were observed on the stores’ surveillance cameras. Lewis was identified by specific articles of clothing seized during a search of his house shortly following the most recent robbery, according to police.

A Class B felony is generally punishable by 25 years in prison.

— by Danny Valentine

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