Robbery attempt at Mabton Chevron

— A man who allegedly tried to rob a gas station was arrested Thursday evening as he walked by the Police Station.

Joel Cruz-Madera, 29, a homeless area resident, is being held without bond in the Yakima County Jail on a charge of second-degree robbery.

The attempted robbery occurred at about 3:53 p.m. at Chevron, 451 N. Main St., a police report said.

“Police officers were notified of an attempted robbery at the Chevron Station on the corner of Main Street and S.R. 22,” Police Chief Phil Haglin said. “No weapon was shown, and the suspect was detained as he walked in front of the police station.”

Police learned of the attempted robbery after a silent alarm activation prompted officers to respond to Blue Sky Market, 300 North St.

At the store, shift manager Angelica Barrera informed police that the robbery had actually taken place at the nearby gas station, an incident report written by officer Lee Reed said.

Reed and Haglin then moved their vehicles to the north and south sides of the business, the report said. Customer Able Orosco was leaving the store and signaled to police that the suspect had fled around the rear.

Police searched the west side of the store, but could not locate a suspect, the report said, noting police also re-entered Blue Sky. Barrera pointed out the suspect —a Hispanic man with a limp, wearing black pants and a hoodie — walking along Main Street.

Reed located the suspect, later identified as Cruz-Madera, walking in front of the Police Station at 305 Main St., the report said.

“I exited my patrol vehicle, yelling at the man,” Reed wrote in his report. “I announced for him to kneel down on the sidewalk. He was still not following commands.”

Reed yelled again at the suspect, who finally complied with his commands, the report said.

Cruz-Madera put his hands behind his back and Haglin handcuffed him, the report said. Following the arrest, the clerk at the gas station clerk positively identified the suspect in the attempted robbery.

Cruz-Madera was transported to the Sunnyside city jail, the report said, noting that he agreed to speak with officers.

According to the report, Cruz-Madera told police he had walked from Grandview to Mabton. Tired and hungry, he said he went into the store and demanded money.

“I wanted the money,” Cruz-Madera told police. “I knew she had money; I wanted it.”

When police asked him to describe the clerk, he said, “She is a Hispanic, chubby girl. She is fat.”

Police also asked him if there was anyone else in the store, the report said.

He replied: “Yes, an older Mexican man who was scratching a scratch ticket … He was wearing a hat, western jeans, maybe 60, 70 or 80 years old.”

Cruz told officer Reed he robbed that gas station because he “didn’t think anyone was going to catch me.”


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