WATERLOO — For the second time in as many weeks, a Cedar Falls man has been convicted of robbing area stores.

Jurors deliberated for around an hour Friday before finding Carlos Roig Gonzalez, 34, guilty of second-degree robbery in a holdup at Sally Beauty Supply in Waterloo and first-degree robbery in a heist at Dollar Tree in Cedar Falls. Both crimes happened less than an hour apart Dec. 26, 2017.

A week earlier, another jury found Roig guilty for first-degree robbery in the Jan. 22, 2018, knife-and-pepper-spray robbery at Kay Jewelers in Cedar Falls where about $400,000 in merchandise was stolen.

The first-degree charges are punishable by up to 25 years in prison with a mandatory 17 years before parole. The second-degree charge carries up to 10 years with a mandatory seven years. Sentencing will be at a later date.

Prosecutors said Roig learned a lesson when he robbed Sally’s Beauty Supply on Flammang Drive. As he led two workers to the back room, one of them shoved him and took off, so he couldn’t get what was in the back and had to settle for the till from a cash register.

So when he held up Dollar Tree on Brandilynn Boulevard less than an hour later, he made sure he controlled one of the employees by squirting him with pepper spray while he led the other around with a knife, said Assistant County Attorney Elizabeth O’Donnell who prosecuted both trials.

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“He needed them to be afraid he would hurt them,” O’Donnell said.

Defense attorney Brian Johnson said it was a case of mistaken identity and pointed to inconsistencies with the witnesses.

“Mr. Roig wasn’t at Dollar Tree or Sally’s Beauty Supply,” Johnson said.

O’Donnell said workers at all three businesses described the assailant as a short, slender man with a Hispanic accent, which fit Roig, who is 5 feet, 4 inches tall and has Puerto Rican heritage.

The state showed security camera footage from the Dollar Tree and Kay Jewelers robberies and noted a stocking hat with a logo or design on the brow worn by the suspect was similar to a hat shown in a known photo of Roig making a purchase at a convenience store.

The hat was also seen on a person who briefly walked into the Pita Pit restaurant minutes before the Sally’s Beauty stickup.

Other videos showed a silver vehicle with a broken driver’s side tail light lens in the area of the crimes that matched a Saturn Roig drove, O’Donnell said.

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Police and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Courier

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