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One nabbed, another flees in robbery filmed on tape

Henderson County sheriff's deputies have obtained warrants for two men thought to have committed the armed robbery that was caught on tape on Feb. 21 at the El Chapulin store at 1726 Old Spartanburg Road. One is in jail under a $200,000 bond in Greenville, S.C., and the other fled.


Arturo Mendez Gomez, 33 of Greenville, S.C., and Juan De Dios Hernandez-Marin, 38 of Wahalla, S.C., are charged with one count each of armed robbery and one count of second degree kidnapping.

The Henderson County Sheriff's Office violent crimes unit and violent crime squads from the Greenville County Sheriff's Office and the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies conducted a joint investigation into the recent armed robberies occurring at Hispanic convenience stores in North and South Carolina. Through this investigation detectives were able to take Arturo Mendez Gomez into custody in Greenville County, S.C.

A surveillance tape recorded clear images of the robbery at the Hendersonville store.

Investigators believe they may be able to connect the men to other armed robberies in the Upstate and the Asheville area.

Gomez is currently confined in the Greenville County Detention Facility under a $200,000 secured bond for armed robbery charges in South Carolina and will be extradited at a later date back to North Carolina to face charges in Henderson County.

Juan De Dios Hernandez-Marin has not been taken into custody at this time and is believed to have fled the state to avoid prosecution.

It appeared that Hernandez-Marin was in the country illegally. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement put a hold on Gomez, which suggests that he is either in the country illegally or is wanted on other charges, said Maj. Frank Stout, the sheriff's department spokesman.