Update: Allegedly armed robber used BB gun

Published 2:41 pm Monday, November 19, 2012

The suspect who tried to rob Blooming Prairie convenience store employees at gunpoint allegedly used a BB gun as his weapon, and had reportedly applied for a job there.


According to the Steele County Court complaint, an employee at the Casey’s General Store knew the suspect was Bobby James Smitty, 19, of Blooming Prairie, because she recognized his accent and the way he walked. Smitty reportedly wore a dark hood and bandana to conceal his identity. Furthermore, Smitty had applied for a job at that store, according to Police Chief Paul Wayne.

Smitty was charged Monday in Steele County Court with first-degree aggravated robbery and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, both felonies.

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Smitty allegedly tried to rob the store at about 1 a.m. Saturday with a BB gun that is a replica of a semi-automatic pistol. An employee activated the silent alarm and locked the register drawers. According to the complaint, Smitty tried to pry open the registers but was unable, even after breaking a piece off of the drawer. He also checked an employee’s pockets for money but found none.

Officers who also knew Smitty went to a home where he often stays and found him in an upstairs room lying in bed. An officer also later found a jacket and gun in a nearby alleyway. After speaking with others in the house and watching video surveillance, officers were able to identify Smitty’s shoes, jacket and gun.

Smitty reportedly left Casey’s without stealing anything. None of the employees working at that time were hurt. Casey’s employees were required to defer all comments to Casey’s corporate office.

Smitty has a hearing set for Dec. 17.