An investigation that began Aug. 19 when five students at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff said they were robbed at gunpoint led to the arrest of four men and a woman Sunday afternoon by Pine Bluff Police.
The students allegedly identified three of the men from photo lineups, Detective Mike Sweeney said in a probable cause affidavit that was presented in court Tuesday.
According to the affidavit, the three men, Jerome Cole, 27, Loranza Porter Jr., 19, and Tevin Cole, 22, were found hiding in the attic of a house where the woman, LaQuinta Cole, 19, was arrested and charged with tampering with evidence and hindering apprehension or prosecution.
She allegedly hid a gun that was used in the robbery, and provided a place for the men to hide.
A fourth suspect, Jeffery Cole, 31, was released pending further investigation during the court appearance.
Deputy Prosecutor Maxie Kizer said the students were walking back from the University Deli when three men, one armed with a gun. ran up and robbed them. After the alleged robbery, the students went to the University Police Department where they reported the robbery.
Video from the store showed three men who matched the description of the alleged robbers, and police who were in the area on Sunday saw the three, who ran into a house in the 2300 block of Bell Street.
LaQuinta Cole, who was in the house at the time, initially refused to allow police to come in and search but after talking to the owner of the house by telephone changed her mind and let the officers inside where they found the men.
Kizer said Jerome Cole is on parole, while the other three had no prior criminal records.
Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth ruled that prosecutors had probable cause to charge Jerome Cole, Porter and Tevin Cole with five counts of aggravated robbery and five counts of theft of property.
Bond for Jerome Cole was set at $100,000 cash only, and bond for Porter and Tevin Cole was set at $50,000 secured each.
A $10,000 bond was set for LaQuinta Cole.
In addition to setting the bonds, Bridgforth ordered all the suspects to have no contact with any of the alleged victims until the case is settled.