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Police are "deliberating charges against a 20-year-old Savannah man identified as the suspect who robbed a health food store in an area where Metro SWAT and K-9 units were conducting a training exercise Thursday," a spokesman says.

The suspect, identified as Aceen D. Grant, was apprehended by an officer who was familiar with him from previous cases as the Special Weapons and Tactics, canine and West Chatham Precinct Patrol officers and a police helicopter saturated the area around Abercorn Street and I-95.

The man reportedly "had robbed the GNC store on the first block of South Gateway Boulevard and fled on foot before the combined units flooded the area and found him leaving a wood line," police say.

• Savannah/Chatham Metro officers charged "the owner/operator of a group rooming units with multiple charges after serving a search warrant this afternoon," a spokesman says. Russell Stephen Varnedoe, 66, was charged with possession of methamphetamines, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of firearms by a convicted felon after the 12:45 p.m. raid on Ogeechee Road.

"Officers found items to substantiate those charges as well as electronics that are being investigated when they served the search warrant," police say.

"Arbor Cottages had been the subject of numerous court cases after the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department's Crime Free Housing Unit found it in violation of various code sections," the spokesman continues.

"Varnedoe had been given multiple chances to bring the units up to code requirements by a Recorder's Court Judge who cited concerns for the tenants who had few other places to move."

The units will be allowed to remain in use as information is reviewed. The investigation into the case continues.

• Detectives are investigating the shooting death of a 15-year-old found in west Savannah lst week. William Elijah Norman who had lived on the 1400 block of Staley Avenue was found dead in front of a house on the 900 block of West Victory Drive about 7:30 a.m. after residents called police and Emergency Services to an unresponsive person.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Crimestoppers at (912) 234-2020 or text CRIMES (274637) using the keyword CSTOP2020. Tipsters remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward. A Tip Line also is open to investigators at (912) 525-3124

• Victims of two recent shootings have died, prompting homicide investigations.

Just after 2a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, a critically injured Randy Brown, 39, was transported to Memorial University Medical Center where he died from gunshot wounds sustained during an incident on the 1000 block of East 34th Street.

Twenty-four-year-old Marvin Hills succumbed to injuries sustained during an early morning shooting on Friday, Jan. 17 on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and West Victory Drive.

Anyone with information on these cases is asked to call Crimestoppers at (912) 234-2020 or text CRIMES (274637) using the keyword CSTOP2020. A Tip Line also is open at (912) 525-3124.

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  • The suspect was apprehended by an officer who was familiar with him from previous cases.

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