CRUZ BAY — Brave employees fought back against two armed robbers in St. John early Monday and were able to unmask and positively identify one of the suspects, authorities said.
Lee Christian, 21, of St. John, was arrested at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday and charged with first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, first-degree assault and third-degree assault, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.
The 911 Emergency Call Center, dispatched Officers from Leander Jurgen Command to an armed robbery that occurred near Wharfside Village in Cruz Bay about 1:07 a.m. Monday, according to the VIPD.
Patrol officers arrived on the crime scene and spoke with the employees of the establishment to find out what happened.
The employees stated that while in the process of closing two unknown Black males entered the establishment wearing masks, one of them armed with a handgun which he pointed at them demanding “everything they had,” VIPD Communications Director Glen Dratte said.
“The employees also stated that while doing so, an altercation ensued between the suspects and themselves, which caused one of the suspects to flee the area,” Dratte said. “The employees further stated that during the altercation they were able to remove one of the suspects’ masks from his face at which time the suspect was positively identified as Lee Christian of St. John.”
The suspect continued to struggle with the employees and was able to flee the area prior to the police arrival, the police spokesman added.
Lee turned himself in at Zone C Sub-Station in Annas Retreat in St. Thomas on Tuesday night, police said.
Christian was booked, processed and remanded to the Bureau of Corrections pending an advice-of-rights hearing.
“We are still investigating this Armed Robbery and there’s still a second suspect at-large,” St. Thomas District Chief Detective, Lt. Shelly-Ann Cannonier said.
The second suspect description is a Black male, of medium height who was wearing a mask and dressed in all black, Lt. Cannonier said.
CIB detectives are currently combing over digital surveillance content as the investigation into this armed robbery is ongoing.
CIB is asking anyone with information about this incident to call 911, CIB at 340-774-2211, Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-8477.