ELYRIA — Two Cuyahoga County men are being held in Lorain County Jail on charges they forced three restaurant workers into a closet inside their workplace on Cleveland Street early Tuesday morning, stole a wallet and a cell phone and tried unsuccessfully to break into the store’s safe.
James A. Jackson, 27, of Willoughby Hills, and Demario J. Horton, 29, of Cleveland, are charged with aggravated robbery and kidnapping. They were being held without bond in Lorain County Jail pending arraignment in Elyria Municipal Court today, according to jail records.
Officers responded to a report of a robbery at Rally’s at 711 Cleveland St. at 2:54 a.m. Tuesday, according to an Elyria Police Department news release.
Three employees there told officers they had just been robbed by two black men wearing black hoodies with the hoods pulled tight around their faces. The men entered the business through an unsecured side door and were armed with a box cutter-type object and a dark-colored semi-automatic handgun, police said.
The employees were ordered into a closet and told to stay there under threat of violence, police said. The man armed with the handgun took one employee’s wallet and cell phone, according to Elyria police.
The employees then heard loud banging sounds, which police said were the robbers trying to get into the store’s safe with a crowbar. After failing to do so, the robbers fled without getting any money, police said.
After the banging stopped, the employees opened the closet door and called police, according to a news release. No injuries were reported.
Less than 20 minutes later, at 3:08 a.m., Elyria officers and Lorain County Sheriff’s deputies stopped a 2019 Toyota Highlander on state Route 57, just north of East Broad Street. Inside, they found evidence related to the robbery, according to the news release.
Horton and Jackson were inside the vehicle and were taken into custody at that time before being transported to Lorain County Jail. Both have prior robbery convictions in Cuyahoga County, according to Elyria police.