Charges pile up against alleged gas station robber


Surveillance footage from a SuperAmerica in Maplewood, a Holiday in North St. Paul, The Corner Store in Oakdale and a Holiday in Oakdale shows what appears to be the same man wearing the same clothes robbing each of the four gas stations while holding a silver handgun. • file photo

Four gas stations were allegedly robbed at gunpoint by the same man Sept. 28 and 29. 

After weeks of investigation, Ronny Porter, Jr., 25, was arrested and is being held at the Ramsey County Jail on charges filed in both Ramsey and Washington counties.

Porter was charged with first-degree firearm aggravated robbery and first-degree non-firearm aggravated robbery by the Washington County Attorney’s office. The Ramsey County Attorney’s office also charged Porter with two counts of first-degree aggravated robbery. 

The maximum sentence for each of the four felony charges is 20 years in prison, a $35,000 fine, or both.

 Ronny Porter, Jr.

The first of the four robberies occurred just before 5 a.m. at the SuperAmerica located at 1750 White Bear Ave. in Maplewood. According to court documents, after being in the gas station for about an hour, Porter allegedly pointed a silver pistol at an employee and demanded cash from the registers. He then left on foot with a little less than $400.

The next robbery occurred at about 6:30 a.m. the same morning at the Holiday gas station at 2438 Margaret St. in North St. Paul. After approaching the counter, Porter allegedly took out his silver handgun, chambered a bullet and demanded cash from the till. Court documents say that Porter lifted the drawer to check for additional money before leaving with about $250. 

Later that same morning, around 7:40 a.m., Porter allegedly targeted The Corner Store at 5699 Geneva Ave. N. in Oakdale. Court documents say Porter allegedly arrived at the gas station on a grey bicycle with a red front fork.

Upon entering, Porter allegedly bought two scratch-off lottery tickets, scratched the first one, threw it in the trash and pulled out a gun while demanding money and cigarettes. After receiving about $200 and four cartons of Newport 100 cigarettes, Porter allegedly forced the employee to the ground and left the store.

The final robbery happened just after 12:15 a.m. on Sept. 29 at the Holiday located at 1025 Hadley Ave. N. in Oakdale. Court documents say Porter allegedly entered and demanded money from one of the employees, while threatening to shoot another employee if he did not get what he wanted. Porter allegedly took off with about $300.

 

The investigation 

Oakdale, Maplewood and North St. Paul police departments all contributed to the investigation of the robberies. According to court documents, surveillance footage and witnesses statements from all four robberies, the robber was a man about six feet tall, in his early twenties, with a thin build, who during each robbery wore a blue sweatshirt with the hood tied around his face with a white drawstring. 

Witnesses also described a tattoo on the robber’s left hand with the word “money” on it, and court documents note Porter has a tattoo matching this description.

Porter was identified by his girlfriend, a patrol officer and an acquaintance as the man caught on gas station surveillance footage.

Police reviewed Sept. 28 surveillance footage from Porter’s girlfriend’s apartment building in Oakdale, which revealed Porter in the same clothing seen on the surveillance footage of the robberies. 

A search warrant executed Oct. 3 at Porter’s girlfriend’s apartment revealed all the clothing Porter allegedly wore during the robberies, the cigarettes that had been stolen from the Corner Store, the bike used when robbing the Corner Store and a .45 caliber bullet, according to court documents.

At the time of the four robberies, there was a Ramsey County warrant out for Porter’s arrest for failing to appear in court for a second-degree aggravated robbery charge from an alleged April 3 robbery.

Porter’s next appearance in Ramsey County District Court is Nov. 22.


– Aundrea Kinney can be reach—ed at 651-748-7822 or akinney@lillienews.com

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