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DA hopes to try teenage robber as an adult

Madera County District Attorney David A. Linn says he plans to try the teenage suspect of a brazen robbery, and another attempted robbery, as an adult.

“This young man clearly has a problem,,” Linn said in an interview with ABC 30 News. “And I don’t believe it’s one that can adequately be addressed in the juvenile court system.”

The suspect, 17, was arrested on Monday after attempting a holdup on the same store he reportedly robbed two weeks ago.

The first robbery, which occurred at Madera Mini Mart, 16540 Road 26, happened Nov. 25, when the suspect reportedly threatened to shoot the clerk if he did not comply.

The incident was recorded on the store’s security camera, and the footage shows that the suspect’s hand, which was in a black bag, remained pointed at the cashier the whole time.

According to store owner Danny Singh, the suspect made off with $247 from the store.

“The clerk made the right choice to cooperate,” said Madera County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Tyson Pogue. “There is no way to know what weapon he may have had, or what was going through their mind.”

On Monday, 10 days after the first robbery took place, the Madera Mini Mart was held up again, this time when Singh was on his shift in the store. Brandishing a black bag again, the suspect pointed at Singh and his wife, Simi Kaur, who had stopped by to bring him dinner. The suspect then reportedly demanded that Kaur open the register, or he would shoot.

According to Singh, he immediately recognized the suspect as the person who had previously robbed his store.

“I’ve seen the surveillance camera video from last time over and over, so I matched it,” Singh said. “(It was) identical, exactly the same.”

It was at this, point, said Singh, when the suspect was distracted by the money laid out on the counter, that Singh’s older brother, Gurmeet, came from behind and tackled him against the counter. Singh assisted in apprehending the would-be robber. In the process of the struggle, the suspect’s sweater was pulled off, and he began kicking and thrashing to get away from the two brothers. The entire incident was caught on the store’s surveillance camera.

“He was struggling very hard to get out,” Singh said. “He was fighting back and forth.”

The suspect was held at the store until law enforcement arrived to arrest him. It was also discovered that there was no gun on the suspect. A later search of the suspect’s home, carried out with his mother’s consent, reportedly turned up items stolen from the first holdup.

According to Linn, the suspect is facing two counts of robbery. Singh has also said he approves of the decision to try the suspect as an adult, saying the suspect knew what he was doing.


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