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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Robberies an inside job, police say

Dustin Jamal Shaver

Joshua Keith Clark
HUNTINGTON -- Police say a Marquee Cinemas employee played a role in at least two of three armed robberies that targeted the movie theater at Pullman Square, according to police statements and a search warrant filed Wednesday in Cabell County.

Two 19-year-old Huntington men were arrested Wednesday afternoon in connection with the robberies at the cinemas Monday and July 13.

Dustin Jamal Shaver, a 19-year-old not believed to be working at the cinemas, was charged with felony first-degree robbery. An arrest warrant states he fled with several thousand dollars and forced one employee to bind other colleagues with plastic zip ties. The Huntington Police Department executed a search at Shaver's apartment Wednesday afternoon.

Huntington Police Sgt. John Williams said Shaver was arrested without incident near his Marcum Terrace residence in eastern Huntington.

Joshawa Clark, a cinema employee and the supposed robbery victim, was detained for questioning and later charged with two counts of felony accessory to first-degree robbery. Clark also is a resident of Marcum Terrace.

Police say video surveillance at Marcum Terrace captured the two suspects exiting a vehicle together and walking toward Shaver's apartment following the Monday night robbery.

Williams said an additional charge was pending against Shaver.

The three robberies occurred near closing time between Nov. 29, 2008, and Monday. Clark was employed at Marquee Cinemas during the entire 11-month time period. Williams and a police report both state Clark was working Monday night, and Williams believes evidence shows the same person to have been working during the cinema's second robbery, July 13, 2009. He was unsure if Clark worked during the Nov. 29, 2008, robbery.

The search warrant credits another colleague with identifying Shaver. It states an employee picked Shaver's photograph from a photo array. Police had asked the employee to identify the customer who purchased a ticket to a movie that preceded Monday's robbery. That employee's identification matched as being the same person who committed the robbery, the warrant states.

Huntington Police Lt. John Ellis said Wednesday morning that detectives believed their assailant watched the 9:20 p.m. showing of "Where the Wild Things Are." Following the 94-minute movie, detectives believe fellow moviegoers exited the theater as the robber stayed behind. He waited for an usher to enter theater for routine cleaning. The warrant then states Shaver brandished a handgun and ordered the employee to the cash office and demanded its door be opened.


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