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Emily Welker, Published June 07 2013

3 charged with holding up taxi with toy guns

FARGO – Robbery-related charges filed here allege that three men were involved in a stickup of a taxi driver with toy guns Wednesday, a move one of the suspects told police was prompted by a night of losing at poker.

Ardit Luma, 20, and Noah Garcia, 21, were charged Thursday in Cass County District Court with Class B felony robbery, and Luma’s twin brother, Arbnor Luma, was charged with Class B felony conspiracy to commit robbery.

A 17-year-old boy is also suspected of being involved.

A spokeswoman for Cass County’s juvenile court system said Friday that officials haven’t yet received a report on the 17-year-old suspect.

According to court documents filed in the case:

Doyle Cab driver Raymond Keller told police he was dispatched to 3331 15th Ave. S. to pick up someone to take them to the airport. When Keller approached 15th Avenue South, he saw two people with luggage at the curb. One of them said they had more luggage in the back of the apartment.

When Keller pulled around back to load the luggage, two different men were standing there with what were later found to be cap guns and pointed them 2 or 3 inches from his forehead.

One of the men de-manded money, and Keller gave him the $81.40 in his bag. The two men ran off.

Keller told police the men were wearing masks – one red and black, like a wrestling mask, and the other yellow-gold and black latex, covering his whole head.

The cabbie told police he thought the guns, which were identical and aluminum colored, could be fake because they rattled when the robbers moved them. Initially, he said, he thought it was two kids fooling around with him because of their small stature, but as they pointed the guns at him, he thought it was best to do as he was told.

A search warrant affidavit filed Thursday in Cass County District Court said Arbnor Luma was identified, along with three other males, in a convenience store security video taken from near the robbery, and that a police dog tracked a scent from the robbery scene to 3333 16th Ave. S., directly north of the scene of the robbery.

Police searched a garage at 3333 16th Ave. S. and found two identical cap guns. Investigators also took DNA swabs from the handles, court records say.

Arbnor Luma contacted police Wednesday after hearing of the search and asked officers to pick him up and place him in handcuffs, as he did not want his neighbors to see him cooperating with police.

Luma told police he, Garcia and his brother, Ardit, and a juvenile were all involved in the robbery, which he said they had conceived while playing poker in Garcia’s garage at 3331 15th Ave. S.

Arbnor Luma said Garcia became upset after losing money, retrieved a handgun and called a cab, saying he was going to commit a crime to get money.

Police allege Garcia admitted he and Ardit Luma hid in the bushes behind the apartment before robbing the cab driver.

Bail is set at $50,000 for all three men.

Their next court appearance is set for early July.