New information released on gas station robbery, police pursuit
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The following is a news release from Idaho State Police and the Idaho Falls Police Department.
IDAHO FALLS — On Saturday, Aug. 10, at approximately 6:40 p.m., Idaho Falls Police Dispatch received reports of an armed robbery that had just occurred at the Maverik located at 1520 West Sunnyside Road.
A man, later identified as Gilberto Mendoza, had entered the store and given a note to the cashier demanding that $30 be put on a pump where his car was parked. Mendoza brandished a knife and took cash from the drawer before exiting the store. Mendoza put fuel in his car and left.
Witnesses were able to provide a description of the vehicle and stated that it had left traveling southbound on Yellowstone Hwy. Idaho Fall Police Officers initiated a search for the vehicle and dispatch alerted Idaho State Police and neighboring county law enforcement agencies.
An Idaho State Police trooper was able to locate the suspect vehicle traveling northbound on I-15 near mile marker 121. The trooper turned on his overhead lights to initiate a traffic stop and the suspect vehicle began to flee. Two Idaho State Troopers and two Idaho Falls Police Officers who were closest initiated a pursuit around mile marker 127. Other officers traveled at highway speeds to their location.
A Jefferson County deputy deployed spike strips on 1-15 at mile marker 135 ahead of the suspect vehicle which successfully slowed the vehicle. However, the vehicle did not stop and exited the interstate traveling towards Roberts. An Idaho State Police Trooper performed a “PIT” maneuver in order to stop the vehicle.
Mendoza exited the vehicle at that time with a knife in hand. He was acting aggressive and would not comply with officers’ commands. Mendoza was tased and was taken into custody just before 7 p.m.
Gilberto Mendoza, a 27-year-old resident of Rexburg, was arrested for burglary and robbery and taken to the Bonneville County Jail.
The Idaho Falls Police Department would like to thank the Idaho State Police and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance and partnership in responding to this incident.