Fresh Snow Helps Iowa City Police Nab Robbery Suspect

By Lee Hermiston, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Freshly fallen snow aided police in making an arrest in an early morning robbery.

According to Iowa City police criminal complaints, officers responded to the 900 block of Hudson Avenue at 2:37 a.m. Tuesday for a cab driver who reported he was robbed. Police said a man entered his cab, began hitting him in the head and demanded cash. A bag containing juice, milk and a receipt, as well as two cellphones, were taken from the vehicle. Police said the suspect got away with $80 cash.

After spotting the suspect in the area, police set up a perimeter and tracked the suspect through freshly fallen snow with the aid of a K9 officer. Police tracked the footprints in the snow to a garage in the 800 block of Hudson Avenue, where 25-year-old Samuel L. Lockett was located. Police said his shoe print matched the prints found in the snow and a bag of the cab driver's missing belongings was located outside of the garage along the path of footprints.

Police said Lockett was arrested without incident and now faces one count of second-degree robbery.

A second suspect remains at large, and Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to his arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 358-TIPS.

The robbery is about a mile from where another strong arm robbery was reported early Monday morning. Iowa City police Sgt. Vicki Lalla said investigators will look into whether the robberies are related.

"You always look to see if there's a connection," she said.

In addition to the robbery charge, Lockett faces a fourth-degree charge for an incident on Nov. 18 at 1100 Arthur St. Police said they were called there for a report of a stolen Samsung Galaxy tablet. The victim reported that she went into her apartment at 1100 Arthur Street around midnight on Nov. 18 and was followed into the apartment by two black men. The woman told police that one of the men distracted her while other grabbed the tablet and case.

Police said Lockett sold the tablet at the Old Capital Mall later that day using his Iowa identification. He faces one count of fourth-degree theft.

Lockett was arrested last December in connection with a February 2010 break-in at the Fareway on Westwinds Drive in Iowa City. Police said responding officers found a large, black bag containing liquor and cigarettes, as well as three black socks. DNA from one of the socks was found to match Lockett's known DNA profile. The case was later dismissed by the state.

In March 2013, Lockett was arrested on a possession of a firearm as a felon charge after he allegedly fired a gun during a fight that broke out at a party in the 2000 block of Davis Street in Iowa City. Witnesses identified Lockett as the shooter and he was arrested after a brief foot chase. Police found him and a handgun in a nearby creek. Lockett was acquitted of the firearm charge earlier this year.
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