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Columbia police make arrest in Break Time armed robbery

Columbia police have arrested a man suspected of robbing a Break Time convenience store last month.

On Wednesday, officers arrested 32-year-old Phillip J. Masters on charges of first-degree robbery and armed criminal action.

Investigators believe Masters robbed the Break Time on Forum Boulevard around 1:30 a.m. on April 26. Police said robber pointed a handgun at the clerk and demanded money before fleeing with an undisclosed amount of money.

Around 7 a.m. that day, officers responded to the 1900 block of Jackson Street after someone reported a man slumped over the steering wheel of a car. Officers found Masters in the car and brought him to the police department.

Police investigated him for a possible DWI, but did not arrest him.

Just before 1 p.m. on April 26, officers were then called to the 1500 block of Radcliffe Drive. A resident found a black handgun, black knit cap and black shirt wrapped in a sweatshirt and placed next to a mailbox. Those items matched the robbery suspect’s description.

Then on Wednesday, investigators were able to contact Masters’ roommate, who was missing his handgun. That handgun was the one recovered on Radcliffe Drive.

Masters was formally charged Thursday. He is being held in the Boone County Jail on a $30,000 bond.

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