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SUSPECT ARRESTED IN WESTERN UNION HEIST

A St. Thomas resident is in federal custody in connection with the Feb. 19 armed robbery of the Western Union office in downtown St. Thomas.
In a joint announcement Monday, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the FBI, V.I. Police and the U.S. Marshal Service said William Hodge Jr., 23, of Vester Gade had been charged with first-degree robbery after his arrest by agents of the V.I. Safe Streets Task Force on Monday morning.
He and an accomplice are alleged to have held up Western Union and robbed two patrons who were conducting a transaction at the time.
The most recent robbery was reported to police by the same employee who reported the Feb. 7 armed robbery of the same Western Union office on Store Tvaer Gade.
At the time of the latest armed holdup, police said two males stormed the establishment and robbed it of $3,400 in cash. In addition, two customers lost jewelry and other personal effects valued at $1,465. Law enforcement sources remained tight-lipped on whether the suspects in the two Western Union robberies are the same.
Hodge was expected to appear before a District Court magistrate jJudge for an advice-of-rights hearing Monday.
The task force appealed to the community to come forward with additional information that could lead to the arrest of the second suspect wanted in the Feb. 19 armed robbery of Western Union.
It is widely speculated that Hodge is related to a principal suspect in the robbery of the Emerald Lady Jewelry Store on Back Street in 1998, an incident that culminated with the fatal shooting of store owner Larry Davis.
The Safe Streets Task Force may be contacted at 776-9440 or at 777-3363.

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