FOLEY -- A man accused in a string of armed robberies in St. Cloud has been charged in two of the three hold-ups.

The latest robbery occurred December 23rd, when a man walked into the Knotty Pine Liquor store in east St. Cloud, pulled a gun from his waistband and demanded money.

Police followed footprints which led them to a man matching the description given by the store employee. Court records show police found a handgun on him and identified the man as 23-year-old Lavonta Lofton.

The gun was like the one used in a December 11th robbery of the Super America store at 32nd Avenue North. St. Cloud Police also noted distinct footprints left by the robber in that gas station hold-up.  They also checked some bills and a plastic bag left behind by the robber for DNA and possible fingerprints. The footprints matched those of the Knotty Pine robbery nearly two weeks later.

Investigators say Lofton ultimately admitted to the two December robberies saying he committed the crimes because he was broke and had no money to survive.

According to the criminal complaint, the gun used in the hold-ups was stolen during the robbery of a Super America store on 33rd Avenue August 31st. A store employee who had a permit-to-carry brought the gun to work and had it stolen during the hold-up.

Records show Lofton admitted to that robbery as well, but has yet to be charged in that crime.

Lofton is being held in the Benton County Jail on $50,000 bail in the Knotty Pine robbery. He hasn't made his first appearance in Stearns County on the December 11th SuperAmerica robbery.

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