Joplin police are investigating three reported robberies over the weekend, with two of the crimes taking place outside the Wal-Mart store at 2623 W. Seventh St.
Security employees of the store tried to stop two men who allegedly left the store about 5 p.m. Saturday without paying for a couple of bottles of liquor, according to police Cpl. Chuck Niess. One of the men stopped and put a bottle down, but the other man pulled out a knife to hold the store employees at bay while he ran, Niess said.
The suspect who stopped was charged with misdemeanor theft. Police were looking Monday for the second man, who could be facing a charge of robbery, Niess said.
Erik M. Bodin, 17, reported being robbed about 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of the store. Bodin told police that a vehicle pulled up next to him in the parking lot, and a male occupant asked him for gas money.
Bodin agreed to give him some money, and the man climbed in the front passenger seat of Bodin’s car, Niess said. The man then punched Bodin in the face, took what cash he had in his wallet, threw his car keys out of the vehicle and ran off.
A 13-year-old boy reported being robbed by two men about 11 p.m. Friday as he was walking home in the 200 block of North Byers Avenue. The men pushed him, grabbed his cellphone and ran, the boy told police.
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