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Robbery claim false

Scott Seitz • Jul 18, 2013 at 9:27 AM

The investigation of an alleged July 6 armed robbery at Buurma Farms has taken a new twist.

About 2:30 p.m. July 6, the Huron County Sheriff's Office received a call regarding an alleged armed robbery where a male and female reportedly broke into a migrant worker's apartment while he was eating lunch and demanded his wallet at gunpoint. The man told authorities he surrendered his wallet.

The apartment is located at 4889 Ohio 598.

Detective Sgt. Josh Querin said Tuesday the alleged victim was interviewed again after holes appeared in his story.

"Detective Eric Bardar and Erie County Deputy Johann Matute, who speaks Spanish and served as a translator, interviewed the victim again," Querin said.

"The victim admitted making the entire story up," Querin said. "There was no male or female who robbed him at gunpoint.

"He made the story up because he was allegedly engaged in sexual acts with a prostitute and then his wallet came up missing," Querin said.

The alleged prostitute has fled the area, he added.

The man -- who was originally the victim -- has been charged with falsification.

His name is Martin Rodriguez, 38, of 4889 Ohio 598.

"Martin Rodriguez was arrested Saturday by Sheriff Dane Howard, Special Deputy Dave Battles and Detective Kayla Zander," Querin said.

Querin said the U.S. Border Patrol has placed on holder on Rodriguez at the jail.

"I really want to thank Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth and Deputy Matute for their help in this investigation, as well as detectives Bardar, Zander and Bill Duncan."

Howard said all officers did a great job on the case.

"We spent a great deal of taxpayers' money investigating this case," Howard said. "When taking that into account, I felt it necessary to arrest him myself."

But Querin said, that wasn't the end of the story at the work camp.

"At the time of the armed robbery, there was a female at the crime scene who we interviewed as a potential suspect," he said.

"The woman, Laura K. Hunt, 27 of the Willard area, was arrested after she made admissions that in exchange for money, she made an agreement she would perform sexual acts at the camp which she never did," Querin said.

Hunt is not the same woman who fled the area, Querin confirmed. "She was charged with soliciting prostitution," he said.

Duncan, Zander and Bardar all assisted on the case.

"It's nice to be able to bring some closure to this armed-robbery investigation," Querin said.

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