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Two arrested, three sought in pawn shop robberies

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

Forest Park Police have arrested two men suspected in a string of armed robberies at pawn shops in Clayton, Henry and Fulton counties, and are looking for three others.

Forest Park Police said Thursday they arrested Kalu Tumi Owens Onumah, 24, of Morrow, and Markell Deshawn Rawles, 22, of Ellenwood.

Onumah and Rawles, along with two unidentified suspects, allegedly robbed the Pawn Mart located at 4679 Jonesboro Road on April 1, according to Forest Park Police Lt. James Delk.

"The four individuals came into the Pawn Mart, and they were all armed," Delk said.

"Upon entrance to the business they had all of the customers and employees lay down on the floor. They were all moved to the back office. That's where the safe was kept. After obtaining money and jewelry, they exited the business," said Delk.

Police arrived as the four suspects fled the scene on foot. Following a foot pursuit, authorities took Onumah and Rawles into custody. The two other suspects got away, according to Delk.

Onumah and Rawles were transported to the Clayton County jail.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been brought in to assist in the case, due to the involvement of multiple jurisdictions, according to Delk.

Authorities released surveillance photos of three unidentified men believed to be involved in the ring but remain at large. They are suspected in robberies at pawn shops in Forest Park, Stockbridge and Atlanta, and police are hoping the public can help identify them.

Delk said the same theft ring is suspected in the Feb. 4, day-time robbery of the Pawn Mart located at 7471 Ga. Highway 85, Riverdale. In that incident, which happened around 9:25 a.m., one man was shot and several others were pepper-sprayed.

The shooting victim, Javon Russell, was shot once in the wrist and once in the back, and was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, according to a police report.

Riverdale Police identified Russell as the store manager.

The current store manager at the Riverdale-area Pawn Mart, Sharking Isaac, said Friday that Russell no longer works at the store, but that he is fine and "he's home walking around." Isaac had no comment on the arrest of the two men suspected in the theft ring.

Anyone with information in the robbery cases was asked to call Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Benjie Fennell at (770) 388-5019, or the Forest Park Police Criminal Investigations Division at (404) 608-2366.