MYRTLE BEACH — Police have charged a second person in a string of armed robberies that occurred earlier this year at businesses in the city, according to Myrtle Beach police Capt. David Knipes.
Martin Espinoza-Urbina, 25, Myrtle Beach, arrested Monday night and has been charged with two counts of armed robbery, according to Myrtle Beach police records. He is being held at the city’s jail pending a bond hearing.
Espinoza-Urbina also faces a bench warrant and bond was set at $133 cash on that charge. Espinoza-Urbina was arrested about 10 p.m. Monday.
Knipes said Espinoza-Urbina participated in some of the robberies that Rolando Omar Vela was charged with on Monday. Vela was charged in connection with six robberies that occurred between Sunday and April 27, according to authorities.
One of the robbery charges against Espinoza-Urbina stems from a June 22 incident in which a 37-year-old man told police that an armed man entered his business, Nuestra Tierra, held a gun to his neck and threatened to kill him, according to the report. The suspect forced the victim to open the cash register and took a bank bag before running out of the business.
Another robbery charge is connected to an incident on May 20, when an employee at Hungry Howies pizza shop, 1601 S. Kings Highway, told police that a man came in, grabbed an employee and forced her to open the safe and took the money before he ran out of the business. Another man was seen waiting in a nearby vehicle to which the suspect fled.
On Monday, Myrtle Beach police said they charged Vela after they found him hiding along Robert Grissom Parkway after a robbery at Domino’s Pizza on Sunday, Knipes said.
Vela later confessed to six other robberies in the city, including the two for which Espinoza-Urbina is charged, according to police. Vela’s charges are related to the following robberies:
• On April 27 at the Tienda Mexicana, 1111 Third Ave. S., an employee said an armed man demanded money when she opened the register for a transaction, according to the report. The suspect got an undetermined amount of money and ran out of the store. Police obtained video surveillance of the robbery.
• On May 3 at the Dollar Tree, 1110 Seaboard St., an armed man came to the register, demanded the money and forced another employee to open the store safe, according to the report. The suspect took a bank deposit bag and ran out of the store.
• On June 4 at the Dollar General, 2000 N. Kings Highway, a man came to the cash register, demanded the safe be opened and threatened to shoot an employee and another person in the store, according to the report. The victim gave the suspect the money and he ran out of the store.
• On July 10, police were called to the Dollar General, 6213 N. Kings Highway, after a man went into the store armed with a gun and ordered employees to give him cash from the registers, according to the report. The suspect, who wore latex gloves, ordered an employee to open the safe and then took more cash before he ran out of the store to a vehicle waiting in the parking lot.
Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723.