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Published August 21 2012

Authorities find shotgun believed used in Mapleton armed robbery

FARGO – Authorities found an unloaded shotgun in the back seat of a car driven by a 17-year-old boy who was apprehended Monday evening about a half-hour after he allegedly robbed Gordy’s Travel Plaza in Mapleton.

The weapon is believed to be the one used in the stickup, Cass County Sheriff’s Detective Steve Gabrielson said during a news conference this morning at the Cass County Courthouse.

The Fargo-area boy is being held in the county’s Juvenile Detention Center in Fargo and will likely be charged in juvenile court, Cass County State’s Attorney Birch Burdick said.

Burdick, who had yet to review reports from investigators, said he will discuss with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office whether to seek to have the case transferred to adult court.

Juvenile court proceedings are confidential, and the boy’s name hasn’t been released.

The robbery was reported at about 6 p.m. after an armed male entered the Mapleton store and demanded money from the male clerk, who was alone in the store at the time.

The suspect drove off in a silver four-door car. Cass County Deputy Lance Kitzan said he spotted the 2003 Nissan Sentra when it stopped at a traffic light on the eastbound I-94 off-ramp at Sheyenne Street/County Road 17 in West Fargo.

Kitzan said the suspect saw him and again headed eastbound on I-94. Kitzan called for backup, and the car was stopped on southbound I-29 just south of the interchange with I-94.

Kitzan said the suspect pulled over and followed authorities’ commands.

“He was actually very cooperative with us,” he said.

In addition to the shotgun, cash also was found in the car. Investigators were still working with the store to determine how much was stolen, Capt. Mitch Burris said.

Monday’s armed robbery was the second in Cass County within the last week. On Friday night, two males robbed the Giant Panda Chinese restaurant in Fargo at gunpoint.

Burris said investigators will review the two robberies for similarities.

Sheriff Paul Laney praised the 62-year-old clerk at Gordy’s for giving authorities useful information, including the car’s license plate number, which was off by only one letter.

Laney credited cooperation between the sheriff’s office, North Dakota Highway Patrol and Fargo Police Department for bringing the situation to a quick and safe conclusion.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528