An armed robbery in the early hours of Tuesday morning took an even darker turn when two teenage women were sexually assaulted by the robbers.
St. Paul police said the incident occurred on the picturesque Raspberry Island park in the middle of the Mississippi River at around 2 a.m., when two teenage boys and the women were approached by four men.
One of the men had a gun, and demanded the victims get on the ground before handing over their valuables.
The four victims complied, but then the two women were forced into a nearby car and sexually assaulted by one or more of the suspects, who then fled the crime scene on foot.
Four men have been arrested in connection with the incident, which St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Mike Ernster said was the result of people cooperating with officers and providing "crucial information that allowed the investigation to move forward quickly."
The search for the men was also helped because one of the victims recognized one of the suspects.
This information led them to three suspects who had been arrested by West St. Paul police for another robbery and matched the descriptions of those involved at Raspberry Island.
A fourth suspect was then identified and taken into custody at noon. Three of the suspects are men and the other a teenage boy.
The Pioneer Press reports that the robbery the suspects are linked to in West St. Paul is believed to have happened at 6:25 a.m., when a man was robbed at gunpoint at Logan and Livingston Avenues.