A man with a lengthy criminal history was arrested on multiple charges in connection with an armed robbery at the Dollar General store on Highway 30 in Guyton Monday night.
Jermaine Dontae Lanier, 23, of Savannah was arrested Tuesday and charged with armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, theft by taking an automobile and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.
They also are looking for Ashton Wallace, 21. Warrants have been issued for his arrest on two counts of armed robbery, aggravated assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, theft by taking and possession of a firearm during commission of a crime.
“He’s a convicted felon. He has a violent criminal history,” ECSO spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor said of Lanier. “Arresting him was a big break in the case.”
Ehsanipoor said Wallace also has an extensive and violent criminal history and should be considered armed and dangerous.
Employees and customers were inside the store when Lanier and Wallace walked in armed with handguns, according to investigators. The men ordered a clerk to empty the cash from the register and then forced the group of people into a back room, Ehsanipoor said.
“Obviously someone who is bold daylight with customers in the store, has no regard for human life,” Ehsanipoor said. “Fortunately, no one was hurt. This could’ve been a lot worse.”
The two men left in a car they stole from an employee. The car was found Tuesday in west Savannah.
Monday’s armed robbery was the latest in Effingham County in recent weeks, including ones at the Family Dollar store in Springfield, Quail Run Estates mobile home park in Springfield and Octane gas station in Eden.
Eshanipoor said that the two men who robbed Dollar General “may be connected with other area robberies,” adding that the investigation is ongoing and “we expect additional charges and arrests.”
The Springfield Police Department worked with the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office to catch Lanier. He is being held in the Effingham County Jail.
Anyone with information on Wallace's whereabouts is asked to call the ECSO at 754-3449.