Alleged armed robber nabbed within minutes of leaving scene |

Alleged armed robber nabbed within minutes of leaving scene

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Carson City Sheriff's forensics lab technician Kurt Urbanski finishes gathering fingerprints at the Radio Shack in the Carson Mall after an armed robber held up the store Friday morning.

A Gardnerville teen was arrested Friday after allegedly robbing a Radio Shack with a pellet gun.

According to Carson City Sheriff’s Detective Dave Legros, the 17-year-old suspect walked into the Radio Shack in the Carson Mall around 9 a.m. and asked the clerk about speaker wire.

When the only other customer left, the teen reportedly pulled a handgun and demanded money from the lone female employee.

“He pulled a gun out and told me to give him all my money and make it fast,” the employee wrote in her statement to police, Legros said. “He waved his gun at me and told me I only had five seconds to get it or he would shoot me.”

After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, Legros said, the gunman kept his weapon pointed at the clerk as he backed out of the store and fled on foot around 9:14 a.m.

A minute later, Alternative Sentencing Officer Chris Pitzer was driving south on Roop Street when he saw a Jeep Cherokee run the light at Roop and Little Lane.

“He almost wiped out a panel truck,” Pitzer recalled.

As Pitzer prepared to stop the vehicle for reckless driving, the burglary call came over the radio. For about two blocks the vehicle failed to yield before turning right onto Oregon Street near the Department of Motor Vehicles and stopping.

Pitzer held the driver at gunpoint until deputies arrived.

The clerk was able to positively identify the driver as the person who robbed her, Legros said.

“It don’t get no better than today,” an elated Sheriff Kenny Furlong said, laughing at the quick end to the case. “Excellent timing.”

Legros said money, a pellet gun and the speaker wire the suspect was asking about were found in the vehicle.

“He said he was just driving around and needed the money,” Legros said.

The teen will not automatically be charged as an adult, said District Attorney Noel Waters.

Under Nevada law, use of a firearm in the commission of a crime is automatically considered an adult offense. But because the weapon in this instance was a pellet gun, the circumstances do not meet the legal criteria.

“However, when we see the report and take look at it, I wouldn’t be surprised if we apply for (adult) certification,” Waters said.

The teen’s name is being withheld because he is being charged as a juvenile.

He was booked into the Juvenile Detention Center on suspicion of armed robbery.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.