By Darrell Todd Maurina
Clovis police arrested a 13-year-old runaway on Sunday evening, alleging he threatened to kill a clerk while robbing an Allsup’s store.
The Clovis News Journal is withholding the accused robber’s name due to his age.
The boy entered the Allsup’s at 301 N. Prince St. about 9:20 p.m., pointed a gold- or bronze-colored handgun at the clerk, and demanded, “Open the register or I’ll kill you!” police said.
The clerk, Roxanne Chairez, said she gave about $80 in cash to the juvenile, who then warned her that if she called police he would shoot her.
“I was scared,” Chairez said.
Chairez said she’d only been working at Allsup’s for a month and was shocked to become a robbery victim.
Following the robbery officers located two people running north on Oak Street near the corner of Fifth Street, one of whom matched the description given by the clerk. Police chased one suspect on foot to the corner of Seventh and Oak.
Police reported he had thrown away a gun and a black jacket while fleeing arrest but the items were later found in a yard along the route he had taken.
A search of the juvenile’s pockets found $286 in cash, police said, and they booked him on an outstanding arrest warrant for violating probation. He was convicted in 2002 for battery, disorderly conduct and assault or battery on school personnel, according to court records.
Officials with the Curry County Juvenile Detention Center would not release information on the suspect, citing his age as their reason.
The gun was reported stolen from a Clovis home several hours earlier, police said.
Police said they will seek to charge the juvenile with armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, tampering with evidence, possession of stolen property, and evading or eluding an officer.
“They will consult the district attorney in reference to charges, especially since this kid is a runaway from Las Cruces and is wanted on a probation violation for that,” said Lt. Patrick Whitney, shift supervisor at the Clovis Police Department.
The suspect had escaped from a Las Cruces halfway house and returned to his hometown in Clovis, Whitney said. An affidavit for an arrest warrant for the juvenile was filed in Curry County District Court on Jan. 29.
Whitney said the second person who ran from police, an 18-year-old male from Clovis, was not charged since police don’t have enough evidence.
Whitney said armed robberies by 13-year-olds are rare.
“It’s not too common at all,” Whitney said. “ Usually when we deal with juveniles it’s gang-related things: Fights, graffiti, shoplifting, but not armed robberies.”
Whitney said the juvenile’s case is in the hands of the court.
“He’s juvenile, he’s not very old as a juvenile, and he’s probably not facing much more than continued probation unless they try him as an adult, and at 13 that’s not likely,” Whitney said. “They will treat him as a delinquent, most likely.”