The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 7, 2014

Armed robbery suspect arrested

Authorities located Kendricks in Minnesota Lake

MINNESOTA LAKE — A Mankato man who has been wanted by authorities since he was linked to a LeHillier convenience store robbery and Mankato carjacking four weeks ago was arrested Friday at an apartment in Minnesota Lake.

Thomas Kendricks III, 23, is facing felony charges in Blue Earth County for an armed robbery at the Quick Mart in LeHillier at about 2:45 a.m. Jan. 13 and for allegedly stealing a woman's car from a Briargate Road apartment parking lot in Mankato 22 hours later.

Kendricks could be facing additional charges because a 14-year-old girl, who had been missing from Mankato since Jan. 28, was found with him at the Main Street apartment in Minnesota Lake, said Faribault County Sheriff Michael Gormley. Potential evidence from the robbery and carjacking were confiscated during the search.

The apartment was searched at about 2:30 p.m. after Gormley's department and the Minnesota Lake Police Department received information from Blue Earth County authorities that showed Kendricks could be there. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, State Patrol, Mankato Department of Public Safety, Blue Earth County Sheriff's Department and the South Central Drug Task Force SWAT Team assisted with the arrest.

"He's a good guy to get off the street," Gormley said.

After Kendricks was linked to the store robbery and carjacking, he was located at his aunt and uncle's residence in Austin later in the day on Jan. 14. The stolen car was found outside the house.

Kendricks escaped after police started surrounding the house. Others inside refused to come out, which resulted in a nine-hour standoff. Jamie Cornelius Hawthorne, 17, of North Mankato was arrested in Austin. He is also a suspect in the two robberies and is facing charges in juvenile court. A Cleveland girl also was taken into custody. She told police she had been picked up by Kendricks and Hawthorne after the robberies.

Mankato police also attempted to arrest Kendricks on Jan. 15 after receiving information that a man matching his description was at Kendricks' residence at 321 N. Broad St. The search for Kendricks continued because he was not found during that 4 a.m. search.

Kendricks has been on the top of Mankato's Most Wanted list since Jan. 31.

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