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Suspects in minivan robberies arrested

Police have arrested four Charlotte men they believe used stolen minivans to get away during a three-month violent crime spree in Charlotte and York County, S.C., that left one man dead and two others with gunshot wounds.

Charged with murder are Jamar Lavert Belk, 19; Darryl Agustus Manning, 23; Robert Charles Shealey, 20; and Joshua Matthew Squire, 20.

On Saturday the four were awaiting transfer to York County, said Capt. Jerry Hoffman of the county sheriff's office. Each also faces armed robbery and criminal conspiracy charges, he said.

Joseph S. Fatiago of Pineville, a 47-year-old employee of Anyday Payday Loans on Carowinds Boulevard, was shot and killed during a robbery Oct. 8. A surveillance video shows him scuffling with a masked robber before a shot rang out.

The robbers fled in a silver 2000 Plymouth Voyager, police said. It had been reported stolen in Charlotte.

Two other people were hospitalized after they were shot during robberies police said were related, one in August and another this month.

During a news conference more than a week ago, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and the York County Sheriff's Office warned the community about the robbers, who they said had “no regard for human life.”

At that news conference, police released little identifying information about the men later dubbed “the minivan bandits,” but they did release information about how the group operated.

They robbed businesses – many of them along the South Tryon Street corridor – often holding victims at gunpoint and even firing shots before leaving in stolen minivans or large cars.

Police often found the stolen vehicles abandoned near the robbery sites.

On Oct. 6, police say, men robbed two Park Road businesses at the same time, shooting the owner of a pizzeria in the leg before escaping in a Plymouth Voyager.

Six local, state and federal agencies have been investigating crimes related to the robberies for several days. Authorities haven't said what led them Friday afternoon to the Intown Suites hotel on South Tryon Street near Billy Graham Parkway.

That's where a SWAT team cornered and arrested Belk, Squire and Shealey. Manning surrendered at police headquarters a short time later.

The Associated Press and The (Rock Hill) Herald contributed.
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