MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 39-year-old St. Paul man is accused in a Christmas Eve robbery of the dollar store where his girlfriend works.

Quincy Gerrard Petty is charged with aggravated and simple robbery, court documents filed this week in Ramsey County show.

According to a criminal complaint, the robbery happened just after 8 a.m. on Dec. 24 at the Dollar Tree on Larpenteur Avenue in Roseville, on the border of St. Paul.

Employees at the store told St. Paul police that someone came in and pretended to make a purchase. At the counter, the man pulled out cash before suddenly saying, “Open your register, I’m robbing you…I’m not playing.”

One of the employees said they recognized the man as Petty with “100 thousand percent certainty,” adding that he was the boyfriend of one of his co-workers, who was not at work that day.

The workers told police they were frightened during the encounter, fearing they could be shot as the man believed to be Petty was repeatedly reaching under his shirt for his waistband.

“If you put your hands down, y’all done,” he allegedly said, according to the complaint.

The employees said another man was involved in the robbery, but Petty was clearly giving the orders. They told police that the two stole $1,702 from the store’s safe and cash drawers before driving off in a red Ford Explorer.

Police quickly found Petty at his girlfriend’s St. Paul home, with the red Explorer parked nearby. Officers took Petty into custody and found $600 in cash in his pocket, mostly in single dollar bills.

Additionally, they found a crumpled-up envelope with the word “robbery” written on it, the complaint states.

No weapon was recovered.

In an interview with police, Petty admitted that the Explorer is registered to him but denied any involvement with the robbery.

Petty’s girlfriend told police that he’d been with her all that morning, saying the robbery was just a set-up by the Dollar Tree, in response to a complaint that she’d filed.

Prior to the arrest, store personnel had told police that they’d recently received a report about Petty’s girlfriend. She had allegedly made comments about robbing the store and that her boyfriend was in a gang.

If convicted of both robbery charges, Petty faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000.

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