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3 Jailed on Charges Stemming from Armed Robbery

Villa Rica man robbed by armed gunman at the rear of Hampton Arbors Condominiums after driving to Duluth to meet woman he had been contact with through Internet website and by telephone.

Three suspects were still being held in the Gwinnett County Detention Center Thursday (Feb. 14) on charges stemming from an armed robbery at the Hampton Arbors Condominiums in Duluth.

Madeline Tronrud, 27, of Duluth, Marcell Horton, 23, of Stone Mountain, and Brian Thomas, 22, of Norcross surrendered after a Duluth Police SWAT team arrived at a condo at Hampton Arbors Friday, Feb. 8, in response to a report of an earlier armed robbery near the dumpsters at the rear of the residential complex.

Rafael A. Hernandez, 29, of Villa Rica reported to police about 3:28 a.m. Friday that he had been robbed at gunpoint by a man wearing a hoodie after driving to Duluth and being directed to a white car at the rear of the condominiums by a woman he had been in contact with through an Internet website (www.pof.com) and by telephone for the past few days. The woman said the vehicle was hers and she would meet him there. The woman used the online ID of ATLSfinestbrewOfSexay.

Hernandez handed over his wallet containing his driver’s license, a resident alien card, a bank debit card, and about $100 in cash, according to the police report. The armed man also took Hernandez’ cell phone. He returned the driver’s license, but not the resident alien ID after Hernandez asked for their return. The armed robber then fled on foot.

The victim drove to a Shell Service Station on Pleasant Hill Road to report the robbery shortly after 3 a.m. Friday.

Hernandez never met the woman, but he identified her photo(s) on the website. Duluth Police also obtained Hernandez’ cell phone number. The police department’s investigation led to the condo at Hampton Arbors. After the suspects voluntarily surrendered, Horton was booked into the Gwinnett County Jail at 3:18 p.m. Friday, followed by Thomas at 3:18 p.m., and Ms. Tronrud at 3:35 p.m.

Ms. Tronrud was charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and was being held in jail on $11,200 bond. Horton was charged with armed robbery and possession of a weapon during a crime. He was being held without bond on the armed robbery charge and a bond of $5,700 on the weapons charge. Thomas was being held without bond on a conspiracy to commit a crime charge.

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