Five juveniles arrested for armed robbery

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by Katie Zerr

Five juveniles were arrested Tuesday, May 15, after a crime spree that began in Mobridge and ended near Gettysburg.
According to Walworth County Sheriff Duane Mohr, the five males, ages 14 to 17 years old, walked away from the Aberdeen Area Treatment Center west of Mobridge at 11:15 p.m. on Monday.

The juveniles allegedly broke into Thompson’s Trucks and Auto, east of Mobridge, stole items from vehicles in the parking lot and then stole a van from the lot.

Another vehicle, parked on the lot at Beadle’s Ford on East Grand Crossing, was also broken into, but nothing of value was reported stolen.

At about 3:40 a.m. on Tuesday, Shorty’s One Stop in Selby was robbed at gunpoint. Mohr said surveillance cameras taped the robbery and that it clearly shows the robbery in progress. Charlie Stulken, who was also working at Shorty’s when it was robbed at gunpoint in May 2007, was behind the counter again on Tuesday.

Three of the juveniles were in the store and pointed two guns at Stulken, asking for money. According to Mobridge Police Captain Justin Jungwirth, the guns were stolen from a vehicle parked on the 500 block of Fourth Ave. West.

The teens then prodceeded south on U.S. Highway 83, towards Gettysburg.

Potter County Sheriff Curt Hamburger stopped the stolen vehicle north of the junction of U.S. Highways 212 and 83, near Gettysburg. All five juveniles fled the vehicle but three stopped on command from law enforcement and were arrested there. Two fled into the farmland nearby.

Officers from the South Dakota Highway Patrol, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, the Selby Police Department, the Hoven Police Department, the Gettysburg Police Department and an airplane from the highway patrol joined the search.

Mohr said he was waiting at the side of the road for agents from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to arrive about 8:30 a.m. uspicious in a field. He found the two juveniles huddled about six feet from where the searchers were earlier that morning. He took them into custody without incident.

The juveniles are facing charges of grand theft, burglary, grand theft auto and armed robbery. They are currently being held in the Walworth County Juvenile Detention Center and will make their first court appearance within 48 hours of their arrest. Walworth County State’s Attorney Christopher Jansen said those charges may change according to the investigation.

Mohr said the exact amount of money that was taken is not known, but it was more than $1,000. He said most of that was recovered during the arrest.

The investigation of the crimes committed by the group has been turned over to the DCI.

Because the suspects are all juveniles, authorities cannot release their names.

– Katie Zerr –

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