Police arrest suspects linked to armed robbery

Two suspects linked to Wednesday’s armed robbery at the Marshall Town Center were arrested Thursday morning.

Andrew Xavier Ramirez, 22, is charged with first-degree robbery, a Class B Felony, going armed with intent and possession of a firearm, both Class D felonies.

Frances Tillie Gasca, 23, is charged with identity theft, an aggravated misdemeanor, forgery, a Class D Felony, unauthorized use of a credit card, an aggravated misdemeanor and ongoing criminal conduct, a Class B felony.

The armed robbery happened just before noon Wednesday in the mall parking lot. A woman was heading into the east entrance of the mall and two men brandishing what she thought was a handgun came up to her. The men stole the victim’s purse and fled from the mall area.

Police arrested Gasca and Ramirez Thursday morning after an off-duty police officer spotted them in the same car pictured in surveillance photos. They had used the victim’s credit card in Marshalltown and in the Des Moines area on Wednesday evening, according to police.

Ramirez and Gasca are being held at the Marshall County Jail.

Marshalltown Police Department’s SWAT team searched Ramirez and Gasca’s house Thursday afternoon and found the victim’s purse.

The robbery remains under investigation. Charges are pending for another suspect connected to the robbery.