Man arrested for allegedly trying to rob convenience store in Blackfoot
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BLACKFOOT — A 30-year-old is facing felony charges after he allegedly tried to rob a convenience store in Blackfoot in May.
Jon Mencer is facing attempted robbery and burglary felony charges. Prosecutors are also seeking a sentencing enhancement for the use of a deadly weapon.
On May 30, Blackfoot police investigated an early morning armed robbery at Short Stop in Blackfoot.
Officers said they were called to the convenience store at 985 South Broadway Street around 3:50 a.m.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by the Blackfoot Police Department, the victim in the case told police that a man wearing a bright-colored sweater that he believed was yellow and a black face mask with a skull on the front, came into the store, pulled out a knife and pointed it at him.
The man grabbed the victim by the sweater and then pushed him around the store. The victim said the man struggled for a few seconds before he let him go and then went to the cash register. The victim told police that the man kept demanding money.
According to documents, the victim said that after the man was at the cash register, the victim began to walk out of the store until he heard the man pop open the register. The victim said at this time, he ran over to the man to stop him from taking any money. The victim said he and the man began to struggle over the register and he was able to grab the knife from the man and close the register. The victim grabbed his phone along with the knife and ran out of the store to get away.
He ran to an alley and stopped to see if the suspect was running after him. He saw the suspect running west on Riverton road.
According to court records, the victim told police that he believed he knew who the suspect was.
Mencer was later identified as the suspect due to multiple people identifying him by the yellow Lakers sweatshirt seen in surveillance pictures posted on Facebook by the Blackfoot Police Department.
The next day, May 31, officers tracked Mencer down at a recovery center in Idaho Falls. They questioned people who worked there. One woman told officers that she believed she had seen Mencer in a yellow Lakers sweater. She said she had recently seen him with a black devil’s mask.
Idaho Falls Police officers responded to assist Blackfoot police officers with detaining Mencer. He was then transported back to Blackfoot for questioning.
“I heard Jon say, ‘I know exactly why you guys are here,'” an officer wrote in the report.
According to documents, as Mencer was being questioned, he said he had no idea who would have robbed the Short Stop. He then went on to say he knows why people think it’s him and stated because the person in surveillance pictures was a heavy-set guy who looked like him. Mencer told police he didn’t own a Lakers jersey.
He also told detectives that he did not have a devil’s mask when he was questioned about it. He said he owned a clown mask.
Officers questioned him again about the Lakers sweater. He said that he had never owned one in his life.
“I informed Jon that we have multiple people who have stated that they saw him in this Lakers sweater,” documents said. “Jon said that we were pulling his chain and that he had never owned a Lakers sweater.”
He stated that he had an alibi during the time of the robbery and that the person was with him all day and all night. According to documents, Mencer became very angry as more questions were being asked by police and demanded a phone call and wanted to go home:
“I then asked Jon where the sweater was, Jon began to yell. … Jon then stated, ‘I’m going to kill someone,’ and went on to ask what other question I had to ask him.”
Court documents continue to say, “Jon stated that he wasn’t stupid enough to rob a gas station or convenience store with a knife.”
Documents said that Mencer became very agitated and yelled and screamed.
“At this time, we stopped the interview, we then went and spoke with prosecutors and informed them of our finding. They informed us that they believed we had enough to place him under arrest,” court documents said.
A judge set his bail to $50,000. According to Idaho state law, an attempted robbery felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine. A burglary felony is punishable by one to 10 years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.
Mencer is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on June 9 at 8:30 a.m. in Bingham County Magistrate Court.