Gunman Allegedly Threatened Kids In Apartment Robbery

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James Stewart (left) and Heath Rhodes

Two Rogers men face aggravated robbery charges after a gunman allegedly broke into an apartment with the resident’s children inside and threatened them.

James Riley Stewart, 20, and Heath Andrew Rhodes, 27, remain in the Benton County Jail after receiving a bond amount of $150,000 each, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Stewart and Rhodes were arrested Sept. 27 after an investigation that lasted nearly three weeks, according to Sheriff’s Office records.

Rogers police responded Sept. 9 to Double Tree Apartments in reference a call about a man chasing a child with an ax. At the apartment complex, officers found Franklin Belcher carrying a baseball bat. Belcher told police he and his son has been the victim of a break-in at gunpoint, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office.

Belcher told police he was sleeping in Apartment V67 when he heard someone yelling. He came out to the living room to find a man with a mask pointing a gun at him and telling him to get on the ground, the victim told responding officers.

Another man came out of a bedroom belonging to Belcher’s son, and the two suspects left, he told police. The son told officers he was watching Netflix in his bedroom and his brother was on the couch, when a man came into the apartment, pointing a gun around. The suspect allegedly threatened to shoot the residents and stole an iPod and about $400 in cash that had been on a table, according to the probable cause affidavit.

One of the son’s friends was also at the apartment at the time of the robbery. Belcher told police he saw the gunman’s face temporarily when he lifted his mask, and he recognized him as an acquaintance of his son’s friend. The friend ran from the apartment, and later denied the allegation to Belcher, the affidavit states.

Using surveillance video and a description of the alleged getaway car, police were eventually able to track down the suspects and arrest them, according to the probable cause affidavit.

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