Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man arrested in connection with November robbery spree

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man has been arrested in connection with a string of robberies in Cedar Rapids and Hiawatha that occurred last year.

According to the Linn County Attorney’s Office, 24-year-old Vanice T. Heath, Jr. has been charged with four counts of first-degree robbery.

Authorities said the first robbery occurred Nov. 12, 2017 at Discount Liquor, 2933 First Ave. SE. The second robbery happened on Nov. 13 at the Dairy Queen at 2100 Sixth St. SW. The third robbery occurred in Hiawatha at the Quick Mart, 655 Robins Road on Nov. 14. The final robbery took place at Smokin Joes, 2313 Mount Vernon Road SE on Nov. 15.

Police said Heath showed a handgun during the robberies and got away with cash from the businesses. Using surveillance videos, witness statements and a Crime Stoppers tip, investigators were able to identify Heath as the culprit in the robberies. He was arrested on March 14 by the United States Marshal Service when they pulled over a vehicle in the area of B Avenue and 20th Street NE.

A Marion man was arrested last month in connection with two of the robberies. However, according to court records, those charges were later dismissed by the Linn County Attorney’s Office.

First-degree robbery is a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Heath remains in custody on a $140,000 bond.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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