December 17, 2014

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Convenience store employee’s brother charged in robbery

Erik Castillo

Erik Castillo

LORAIN — Who was that masked man?

A hood and scarf disguised the face, but not the voice, of the man who robbed the Kwik Mart, 3155 Pearl Ave., about 9 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Clerks Sari and Tarek Rizk told police they recognized the voice, identifying the suspect as Erik Castillo, brother of Victor Castillo, another employee of the store, according to police Officer Craig Payne’s report.

“They had originally thought it was a joke because they knew the voice when he was saying, ‘Give me the money,’” Payne wrote. “They were surprised to see a masked gunman when they turned around.”

Castillo frequently visits his brother at the store, the brothers said.

Erik Castillo was arrested shortly after the robbery about a quarter-mile from the store at Lito’s Bar, 1802 E. 28th St. Police said he had a fake gun and a small amount of cocaine on him. He was charged with aggravated robbery, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police also suspect Erik Castillo of robbing the CommStar Credit Union, 5609 W. Erie Ave., on Jan. 8 and the Chase Bank branch, 2232 Fairless Drive, on Jan. 18.

Payne wrote that when he searched the car Erik Castillo had been driving, he found two pairs of shoes that resembled the shoes worn in the bank and credit union robberies.

Special Agent Vicki Anderson, an FBI spokeswoman, said the robbery investigations are ongoing and wouldn’t say whether Erik Castillo would be charged.

Erik Castillo, 33, of the 300 block of Missouri Avenue in Lorain, appeared in Lorain Municipal Court Monday. He was being held Monday night at the Lorain County Jail in lieu of a $260,000 bond.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com