Nabbed: Suspect arrested in attempted Jamestown robberyJAMESTOWN, ND - An attempted robbery at Dan’s Sooper Stop Tuesday night resulted in the arrest of a Jamestown man who may be responsible for two other robberies that happened over the last six weeks, according to the Jamestown Police Department.
By: Chris Olson, Forum News Service, Jamestown Sun, Forum News Service
JAMESTOWN, ND - An attempted robbery at Dan’s Sooper Stop Tuesday night resulted in the arrest of a Jamestown man who may be responsible for two other robberies that happened over the last six weeks, according to the Jamestown Police Department.
Jamestown Chief of Police Scott Edinger said at around 8:35 p.m. a man entered the gas station wearing jeans, a dark-colored Carhartt jacket with another lighter-colored coat over it, and had his face covered up. Edinger said the man walked around the store, then went up and placed an empty bag on the counter. The man allegedly told the clerk behind the counter that he had a weapon and to put money from the cash register in the bag.
Edinger said the clerk didn’t comply with the demand. The suspect then left the gas station, and the clerk followed him out to see which way he was going. He watched the suspect get into a car and leave. The clerk then called 911 to report the attempted robbery and provided a description of the car and the vehicle’s license plate.
Edinger said agents with the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office tracked down the vehicle to the residence of Gary Lynn Hemphill, who is 55 or 56, and arrested Hemphill as the suspect in the attempted robbery.
Edinger said no formal charges have been filed against Hemphill as of Wednesday afternoon. He said Hemphill may be the person who robbed the Cenex gas station at the corner of Fourth Avenue and 10th Street Southeast on Dec. 15 and the Jetstream Car Wash two blocks east of the Cenex station on 10th Street Southeast on Jan. 9
“We have reason to believe he (the suspect) was the person who committed the two other robberies,” Edinger said.
Jon Burdick, of Jamestown, is the clerk who was working at Dan’s Sooper Stop Tuesday night. He said he couldn’t go into a lot of details about what happened because the police investigation is ongoing.
Burdick said he thought something was going to happen when he saw the suspect walk into the gas station. He said he wasn’t really afraid when the man walked up to the counter and demanded money.
Burdick said he didn’t think the man had a weapon based on local media reports about the other two robberies that said the robber wasn’t armed. He said he wasn’t worried about anything happening when he followed the man out of the gas station.
“I just wanted him to get caught,” Burdick said.
Tana Brehm, the gas station manager, said Burdick did a good job given the circumstances.
“I am very proud of Jon,” she said.
Gary Webb, owner of Dan’s Sooper Stop and gas stations in South Heart, N.D., and Belfield, N.D., said he has only owned the Jamestown Dan’s Sooper Stop for about a year and hadn’t had any problems like this. Webb said after some robberies at gas stations in the Fargo area last year, he had store managers adjust cash handling procedures. Webb said he also reiterated his stores’ policy about not challenging anyone who demands money from a cash register.
He said he wasn’t upset with how Burdick handled the situation.
Edinger said the Jamestown Police Department is investigating the attempted robbery and the two prior robberies. Anyone with information about any of these incidents is asked to call the Jamestown Police Department at 252-2414.
Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org