Crime blotter: third time is not the charm

Elliott Lamar-Seccer Pierson is apparently a creature of habit. On September 30th of last year, according to a criminal complaint filed this week in Hennepin County District Court, Pierson entered University Market at roughly 8:00 p.m. with bandanas covering most of his face and head. The then-27-year-old Minneapolis resident flashed a silver, semi-automatic pistol and demanded that the store's owner open the cash register. Pierson then proceeded to empty the cash into a bag, along with approximately eight cartons of cigarettes. He then instructed the owner to lie on the floor, took two phones, and fled the convenience store on the border of Minneapolis and Columbia Heights.


Roughly a month later, on November 5th, Pierson allegedly robbed University Market in an almost identical fashion. He entered the store around 8:00 p.m. wearing bandanas to conceal his identity and carrying a silver pistol. He emptied the cash register and took several packages of cigarettes. Before fleeing, he grabbed the store's cordless phone. Minneapolis police officers later recovered three bandanas from the alley behind the store.

Less than a month later Pierson was purportedly at it again. This time he entered University Market wearing a hooded sweatshirt and initially asked for change for a dollar bill. But he then pulled out a silver pistol, demanded that the store's owner open the register, and filled a bag with cash and cigarettes.

By this time the store's owners were terrified. "They were extremely frightened and didn't know what to do," says MPD Sgt. Ron Christianson, who investigated the robberies. "They were so frightened that at times they wouldn't even open the door."

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension conducted a DNA analysis on the bandanas recovered from the alley after the November 5th robbery and found that it was an exact match to Pierson. His profile was already on file. The reason? He'd been convicted of two aggravated robberies of convenience stores in 2004. Pierson had also recently been charged with robbing Ron's Market, in Minneapolis, on August 28th of last year--just two weeks after he'd absconded from a prison work-release program.

Pierson is currently incarcerated at the Hennepin County Jail. He faces four counts of aggravated robbery.

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