MALDEN, MO (KFVS) - Police arrested nine local men, all charged in connection with several recent armed robberies. Three suspects remain on the run.
Malden Police have been working a string of armed robberies since late last month.
With the help of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and three recent robbery arrests in Kennett, most of the suspect are behind bars.
Police say all of the men, with the exception of one, are believed to have worked together on these robberies.
There were home burglaries too. That's where the suspects allegedly got their weapons they used in the store robberies.
The first incident happened on July 25th in Malden at the Windy Mills Market.
Tommy Jacques was a customer.
"All of the sudden the front door swings open and three guys ran in had their faces covered, and guns in the air," said Jacques. "They looked at me and I can't remember exactly what was said, but something like this is the real thing, and I will kill you."
Jacques says the gunmen took his money and his cell phone. He says they also took cash from the register.
A couple weeks later, another armed robbery occured at the All In One Convenience Store in Malden.
Then, just this week another robbery happened back at the Windy Mills Market.
Clerk Jessica Lewis is still frightened by the experience.
"The bell rang and I walked up to the drive up window," said Lewis. "I opened it up a little bit, then a man jerked it up and put a gun in my face. He told me to give him money and I told him no."
Lewis says she and two other customers ran for cover.
When the gunman left, Lewis says all he took was her wallet.
"It was unreal, didn't think it would happen to me," said Lewis.
A break in the case came this week with three robbery arrests in Kennett.
"As that case developed, so did our case...it really started spawning and taking off," said Malden Police Chief Jarrett Bullock.
One arrest led to nine. Tarrance Raybon, Lafayette Jones, Jarvis Wofford, Marcrease Farmer, Juantrell Harris, Dillion Criglar, Victor Anderson, and Antonio Eddings all face First-Degree Robbery and Armed Criminal Action charges.
Kwamae Triplett faces Burglary in the Second Degree, and Felony Stealing of a firearm charges.
Police are still looking for Aaron Cody, Timothy Jones and Michael Johnson all of Malden.
Each of those three men face First-Degree Robbery and Armed Criminal Action charges.
With most of the suspects in custody, it's a big relief to officers and locals.
"Maybe this is the start of getting more off the street," said Tommy Jacques.