Two suspects, five armed robberies. Police believe they have cracked the case when it comes to a recent string of crimes in Sioux Falls. Police arrested 20-year-old Josh Porth and 24-year-old Jonathan Julson early Friday morning.
Officers caught up with them shortly after the latest armed robbery at the Kum N Go on 69th and Western Avenue. It started when officers were going to check out Friday morning's crime. An officer saw a car going north, and took down the license plate number. After seeing the car in surveillance video from a nearby ATM, police tracked it down, found the car and pulled them over. Officers searched a house on 1928 South Covell Avenue. Investigators found clothing, masks, and BB or air guns that they believe tie the men to the crimes.
"I know it's been the focus of the media, as well as the citizens, the number of robberies we've had recently," Chief Doug Barthel, Sioux Falls Police Dept., said.
Police believe Porth and Julson are behind four other robberies, including one at a different Kum N Go, the Paradise Casino, a Freedom Gas Station, and a Domino's Pizza.
"There was a phone call that was made to Dominos just prior to the robbery and it was basically a bogus pizza order," Barthel said.
However, this was a very real piece of evidence. Police linked that phone number back to Julson, who Barthel said had 2.8 grams of meth.
"I think it's quite apparent there is a drug connection involved with this and it's very possible these robberies were occuring to use the proceeds to feed their habit," Barthel said.
Finding these suspects in this string of Sioux Falls crimes has been a long process, and Barthel said a lot of behind-the-scenes work happened.
"This case was not solved by a tip, by somebody coming in and confessing or anything of the sort. This was solved by good old-fashioned police work. These officers and detectives did a fantastic job with it and I couldn't be more proud," Barthel said.
Sioux Falls police have seen ten armed robberies in less than a month, and now only two remain unsolved. Porth and Julson face first degree robbery charges for Friday's robbery, but more charges could come by the time they are in court on Monday. Julson faces a meth possession charge.
When police pulled them over, there was a woman in the car, but she is not a suspect. Police believe they simply picked her up after the crime.