Armed robbery suspect caught with help of residents |

Armed robbery suspect caught with help of residents

by Christy Chalmers

An armed robbery suspect who reportedly warned his victim of his plans ran through a fence attempting to escape two Douglas County sheriff’s deputies, but residents helped the officers locate and subdue their man.

The suspect, identified as Richard Elmo Warren, 20, was apprehended Wednesday night after a foot chase through yards and streets in the Gardnerville Ranchos. He is charged with robbery with use of a deadly weapon and burglary, both felonies, and is scheduled to appear Aug. 11 in East Fork Justice Court. He is being held in the Douglas County jail in lieu of $131,005 bail.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Lance Modispacher said Sgt. David Aymami and investigator Rick Brown had obtained an arrest warrant for Warren, a Gardnerville resident, in connection with an armed robbery that was reported early Tuesday at the 7-Eleven at Riverview Drive and Highway 395.

When the officers identified themselves, Warren ran through yards and even a house in the Ranchos. At one point, the suspect barreled through a wooden fence.

“He just busted right through,” said Modispacher. “He went through a house, in the front door and right out the back, knocking things over. If there would have been small children in the way, I’m sure he would have cleared the path.”

Though the officers temporarily lost sight of Warren, Modispacher said residents gave directions and one helped restrain Warren when he was located in the back yard of a house in the 1300 block of Yellow Jacket Road.

Modispacher said Douglas deputies have had previous contact with Warren for offenses involving arson, drug possession, destruction of property, possessing an illegal weapon and assault and battery on an officer.

Warren is suspected in the armed robbery that was reported Tuesday at 2:45 a.m. A store clerk said a man wearing a nylon stocking over his head brandished a pocketknife and demanded money. The clerk complied and the man fled on foot into the Ranchos. Officers responded within three minutes but couldn’t find the suspect.

Court documents say the clerk initially gave investigators a misleading description of the suspect, but later said Warren had talked about robbing the store hours earlier and even said he would return later in the morning to do it. The clerk said he was acquainted with Warren.

Modispacher thanked community members for their involvement in Warren’s apprehension.

“I don’t know how to describe how good it feels to have people help us,” said Modispacher. “When they physically get involved and help us subdue a dangerous suspect, it’s really warming. It’s really enlightening.”