• Quick police work results in arrest following help from anonymous source
Homer Police on Tuesday night arrested two suspects in the robbery of the Grog Shop Liquor Store on Pioneer Avenue.
John Allen Mumey, 49, and Terry Jean Lashley Elliot, 32, were each charged with first-degree robbery. Mumey was additionally charged with fourth-degree assault.
The Homer Police Department received a call at 11:34 p.m. Monday from a Grog Shop clerk stating he had been robbed. He reported that an adult male entered the store, picked up some merchandise, approached the clerk and brandished a semi-automatic handgun. The man demanded money and carried away the store’s cash drawer.
“HPD patrol personnel arrived, interviewed the store employee and initiated an immediate search of the area,” Sgt. Lary Kuhns wrote in the police affidavit. “Near an area to the southeast of the Grog Shop, the terrain slopes to the south at an abrupt grade and the area is very icy and slick. HPD officers… found several items related to the robbery that were apparently lost by the suspect when he possibly slipped and fell. The cash drawer from the Grog Shop containing cash, coins and receipts was found, as well as a blue bag, a leather belt, a bottle of Alaskan Wheat Beer and an item that appeared to be an improvised explosive device. The IED was constructed of a clear plastic bottle that contained screws, shotgun pellets and was constructed with a green fuse protruding from the top, wrapped in blue painter’s-type tape.”
The robber allegedly left with only small change, as large bills remained in the cash drawer that was recovered by the Homer Police.
The only physical description of the suspect during the investigation was that he is an adult male, about six-feet tall and of thin build. He was wearing clothing that covered his entire body, including his head, face and hands.
Later on Dec. 18, Kuhns received a call from a Homer resident in an anonymous tip. The person was able to tell them the suspect’s identity.
Based on that information, police recovered gloves worn by the defendant, and empty bottles of Alaskan Wheat Beer in a Dumpster behind the Heritage Hotel. Police also looked at video footage. The man was seen wearing a teal-colored jacket with a multicolored logo on the back of the jacket. He also was observed carrying a blue bag with lettering and a belt.
Police arrested John Mumey after interviewing both him and Lashley-Elliot. The woman told police she had driven Mumey to the liquor store, and when he returned, he handed her the cash, about $293 in total.
“Lashley-Elliot indicated they used the money to purchase heroin, methamphetamine commonly referred to as ‘speed’ and more alcohol,” the police affidavit states.
Both suspects were arraigned in Homer District Court on Wednesday. They are now lodged at Wildwood Correctional Center.
Lt. Randy Rosencrans said Homer sees a fair amount of burglaries, but not robberies, which involves either a show or threat of force with a deadly weapon. In fact, he indicated there had not been an armed robbery at a commercial establishment for more than 10 years.
In August, a young man was taken at gunpoint to Wells Fargo Bank to withdraw cash demanded from suspect Bret A. Herrick. Herrick was taken into custody Dec. 3 after being arrested at the liquor store in Anchor Point.
Mel Strydom, who has owned the Grog Shop for seven years, said this is the first robbery at the store that he has seen. The Grog Shop is open seven days a week, closing at midnight. Previous owner, Elizabeth Patel, owned the store for 29 years and said the store had been robbed only once in those years, Strydom said.
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