Columbia man arrested on a warrant for armed robbery

Monday, October 24, 2011 | 9:57 a.m. CDT; updated 10:58 a.m. CDT, Monday, October 24, 2011

COLUMBIA — A Columbia man whose voice made him a suspect in a July sandwich shop robbery has been returned to Boone County to face charges in that incident.

Melvin McClain, 20, of 1305 Pearl Ave., was arrested in Union County, Ky. A warrant was issued Oct. 3 for first-degree robbery, with bail set at $100,000, in connection with a July 15 robbery at Jimmy John's downtown Columbia restaurant. McClain's warrant also included a charge of failure to appear in connection with a separate charge of not having a valid license. Bail on that charge was set at $216.50.

Major Tom Reddin of the Boone County Sheriff's Department said a transport service picked McClain up and brought him to Columbia, where he arrived early Monday morning. McClain was being held at Boone County Jail on Monday.

The Columbia Police Department conducted the investigation. According to a police report, a black male entered the restaurant, pointed a handgun at the employees and demanded cash. He was described as 6 feet tall and wearing a bandana and dark clothes. One of the Jimmy John's employees told investigators he recognized the voice of the robber as that of a former employee.

During the robbery, McClain also stole an iPhone, which he tried to sell in July. 

The warrant request date was Oct. 3. Latisha Stroer, public information officer for the Columbia police, said she couldn't give a specific reason for the delay.

Stroer said McClain went to Kentucky in August.

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