Teen charged in River Falls armed robberyRIVER FALLS -- A tip from an informant with no interest in a reward led River Falls police to the young man believed responsible for holding up Dick’s Hometown Liquor Nov. 2.
By: By Phil Pfuehler, The Republican Eagle
RIVER FALLS -- A tip from an informant with no interest in a reward led River Falls police to the young man believed responsible for holding up Dick’s Hometown Liquor Nov. 2.
Blake Halverson, 17, N7923 870th St., a River Falls High School junior, was arrested at his home Friday night.
Monday afternoon he was charged with felony armed robbery and the misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property.
The first criminal charge carries a maximum sentence of a $100,000 fine and 40 years in prison.
Officers, with a search warrant, went through Halverson’s home looking for evidence Friday night.
Investigator John Wilson said the gun and cash stolen in the robbery have not been found.
“We have no clue where the gun is,” Wilson said. “So, yes, we need help finding it if anyone has that information.”
Wilson said the gun used in the robbery is a black/blue semi-automatic pistol.
Dick Rinehart, owner of Hometown Liquor, was elated by the arrest.
“Last week after the robbery I was not sleeping well. I kept waking up at 2 a.m. or so and wondering if there was anything more that could have been done to protect our stores,” he said. “So the news Friday that they caught someone really made my weekend, and I could get a decent night’s sleep again.
He commended the the River Falls Police Department.
“Being robbed at gunpoint is one of the worst threats that can happen. It scares all of us. No one should have to go to work with that kind of fear. Threatening an individual with bodily harm should never be tolerated in a civilized society," he said.
Wilson said there three other teenage suspects, two boys and a girl, connected to the robbery. None has been arrested. One boy was questioned.
Wilson said three teens were in the car that Halverson left in after the Hometown Liquor holdup just after 10 p.m.
An unspecified amount of cash was handed over from a till. The masked robber brought a bag to put the money in, police said.
Wilson said he was called at his home last Thursday night by a person offering a key tip in the robbery.
“That was the turning factor in getting this solved,” Wilson said, adding that Halverson has not admitted to being the robber.
Call police at (715) 425-0909 if you can help locate the handgun used in last week’s robbery. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.