GARDINER — An Augusta woman was arrested Monday in Gardiner for being wanted on a robbery charge for allegedly threatening the clerk at a Big Apple convenience store in Augusta in October and making off with $200 and a pack of cigarettes.

Kiara E. Lewis, 29, has been identified as the suspect charged in the October 2021 robbery of the the Big Apple convenience store at 36 Stone St. in Augusta. Photo courtesy of Augusta Police Department

Gardiner police arrested Kiara E. Lewis, 29, during a traffic stop. She had been wanted on an Augusta police warrant related to the robbery at the Big Apple at 36 Stone St.

Lewis allegedly threatened the clerk Oct. 25, 2021, at the Big Apple, saying she had a knife, although she did not display a weapon, according to an affidavit filed by Detective Matthew Estes of the Augusta Police Department.

The affidavit said Lewis took $200 in cash and a pack of Newport Red cigarettes, after demanding the clerk empty the store’s cash drawer of all money and give it to her.

Police said Lewis then left the store on foot, heading toward the back of the building. The clerk told police the robber had said she had a weapon and if the clerk did not do as told, the robber would hurt or kill her.

Police said they were led to Lewis as the suspect in the robbery after an anonymous source reported recognizing her in a surveillance photograph of the suspect inside the Big Apple. The photograph, distributed by police, had been published in news reports about the theft.

Police interviewed the tipster and also learned a man who said he had formerly dated Lewis also recognized her in the surveillance photograph. The man said Lewis had a drug addiction, according to police.

Estes reached Lewis by telephone in December but was unable to locate her, so an arrest warrant was issued, police said.

Chief James Toman of the Gardiner Police Department said Lewis was arrested on the warrant at 4:15 p.m. Monday, when she was a passenger in a vehicle that had been stopped on Cobbossee Avenue.

She was taken to Kennebec County Correctional Facility in Augusta, with her bail was set at $5,000 cash.

Lewis is charged with a Class B count of robbery, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The robbery was not the first at the Big Apple on Stone Street. In 2019, Augusta police responded to armed robberies there in January and February.

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