V.I. Police Department officers on St. John arrested two men on various burglary charges last week in connection with a Thanksgiving night armed robbery and home invasion.
Cruise Riely, 23, was taken into custody on December 9 at about 8:25 p.m. and 22-year-old Mekel Blash was arrested on December 10 at around 10 a.m.
The suspects were charged with First Degree Robbery, Simple Possession, First Degree Burglary, Unlawful Entry, Grand Larceny and Third Degree Assault. Blash was also charged with Unlawful Sexual Contact.
Both suspects are also facing weapons charges in an unrelated case which has not yet been scheduled for trial.
Their latest arrests stemmed from a robbery that occurred at an Estate Bethany home which was reported to police on November 27.
The victims were having Thanksgiving dinner around 11:15 p.m. on November 26 when two males wearing masks entered their home and demanded money, according to the VIPD’s probable cause fact sheet.
Riley pointed a gun in one victim’s face and demanded money. He later escorted the victim into the bedroom, ordered him on the floor, hit him with the gun several times and demanded more money and drugs, according to the fact sheet as reported in the V.I. Daily News.
Riley then put the gun in the other victim’s mouth and threatened to kill both victims if they went to the police, according to the V.I. Daily News report. The robbers then took off with about $600.
Both men were advised of their rights on December 11, when V.I. Superior Court Magistrate Judge Alan Smith upheld the charges and imposed house arrest and 24-hour electronic monitoring as bail conditions.
Riley’s bail was set at $100,000 and he will be eligible for release after posting 30 percent of that amount. Blash’s bail was set at $150,000 with 30 percent provision imposed as well.
As of press time, both men were out of jail after posting bail.