Columbia security guard thwarts robbery after observing men putting on masks

Published: Jun. 20, 2014 at 7:10 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2014 at 6:53 PM EDT
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RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A security guard is being credited with stopping a robbery attempt early Friday morning after he saw two men putting on masks behind a Columbia tavern, according to the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

Four men were arrested after the incident at Whiskey Tavern on Zimalcrest Drive.

Steven Johnson, 24, Tashon Hurell, 25, Russell Pringle, 19, and Steven Coffee, 25, have all been charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Deputies say an employee of the tavern saw two of the men getting out of a vehicle and putting on masks around 2:00 a.m.

The security officer identified himself to the two suspects who then ran away, according to investigators. The remaining two suspects stayed in the vehicle and were later arrested by deputies at the location.

Additional deputies on the way to the call received a description of the suspects and arrested both men a short distance away from the business.

Deputies found two handguns during the incident.

All four were transported to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

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