Early yesterday morning, Cranston Police Sgt. Justin Dutra was on patrol on Reservoir Avenue when he saw a man burst out of the entrance of and jump into a maroon Chevy Blazer and drive off.
Thinking it was suspicious, he kept his eyes on the vehicle. Moments later, his hunch was confirmed when dispatchers radioed to nearby officers that the convenience store had just been robbed and the clerk had been threatened.
Officers used their radios to determine a safe place to pull over the Blazer and the vehicle was eventually stopped on Fountain Avenue.
Taken into custody without incident were John Desmaris, 51, of 20 Messer St., Warwick and Jamie Simmons, 36, of 6 Langsburries St. in North Providence.
Just before being arrested, Desmaris, who was a passenger in the vehicle, threw a crumpled 20 dollar bill from the car. It later was determined to be a $20 taken from the Cumberland Farms — and the only money the two men managed to steal.
Police said Desmaris walked into the store and told the clerk that he had a knife and demanded all the $20 dollar bills in the drawer.
A search of both men turned up a pocket knife and a glass pipe that police said was used to smoke crack cocaine.
Both men were charged with second degree robbery and conspiracy to commit second degree robbery. They were held overnight for arraignment yesterday in Third Division District Court.
Bail was set at $7,000 for Simmons with surety and he was held as a Superior Court violator stemming from a 2009 drug charge. Desmaris was given $10,000 surety bail. Both men return to court for a prearrangement conference on June 21.