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Elizabeth Man Nabbed In Hamilton Street Convenience Store Robbery

Junior Perez

Junior Perez.
Photo: Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office

A 22-year-old Elizabeth man faces multiple robbery and drug-related charges in connection with the Aug. 25 armed robbery of a Hamilton Street convenience store, police said.

The man, Junior Perez, was initially arrested on drug charges after the car he was driving was stopped because it matched the description of the car allegedly used in the robbery, according to a press release from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

Further investigation led to charges connected to the burglary being levied against Perez, the release said.

The release said that Perez drove unknown individuals to the store on Hamilton Street, after which one – a black male – entered the store brandishing a gun and demanding money.

Store employees fought the man off, according to the release, forcing him to leave without any cash.

A surveillance camera captured video of a light-colored Nissan Altima driving in the area at the time of the robbery, the release said. The car was remarkable because it was missing a rear driver’s side hubcap and had a black bumper.

On Aug. 31, a car matching that description was stopped by a township police patrol. The car was driven by Perez, the release said.

When Perez exited the car, the release said, a small bag of cocaine fell to the ground, after which he was arrested and brought to police headquarters.

Further investigation revealed that Perez was the lookout for the store robbery, according to the release. Police said Perez was to whistle if he saw police responding.

A search of Perez’s car revealed a black BB gun and less than 25 grams of marijuana, the release said.

Township police Sgt. Philip Rizzo said there is an active ongoing investigation into the incident being conducted by the township police and Somerset County detectives.

Perez was charged with 1st Degree Armed Robbery, 2nd Degree Conspiracy, 3rd Degree possession of Cocaine and possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana, a disorderly persons offense, according to the release.

Perez remains in the Somerset County Jail, Somerville, on $100,000 bail.

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