Armed Robbery Suspect Outed by Cops on Facebook After Going on the Run and Quickly Gets Caught
Robert Watkins allegedly robbed a gas station at gunpoint on Thanksgiving Day, police said.
He was not, according to police, the smartest armed robber to pass through town.
For one thing, he didn’t get one red cent when he held up a Gulf station in tiny Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, authorities said. For another, surveillance cameras captured him running from the robbery, changing clothes behind a Dumpster, and leaving his cap and pants inside, according to police.
And then there was the bragging, officers said.
Police Chief Chad King took to Facebook, calling out Robert Watkins, 32, and posting several photos of the man suspected of robbing the service station on Thanksgiving Day.
"We have the video of you changing your clothes before, and after, the robbery," King posted to the social network. "We have you stashing your clothes, your fingerprints were on the counter you slammed and, best of all, your hat is full of your DNA."
“You have the option to turn yourself in," King added. "Contact us as listed above. It’s only a matter of time before we find you. Make it easier on yourself now, because we WILL find you.”
Sure enough, after King received several phone calls and Facebook messages, Watkins was arrested in Meadville, about 110 miles away, the chief said.
“The guy bounces around, he’s kind of like a drifter. A lot of people don’t like this guy,” King told InsideEdition.com.
Witnesses reported him in an area bar, bragging about robbing the Gulf station, King said. Over the weekend, citizens of Meadville reported seeing him on the street and alerted King’s department, he said.
Pennsylvania State Troopers picked up Watkins and booked him into the Allegheny County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $50,000 cash bail on charges of armed robbery, making terroristic threats and theft, authorities said.
He has pleaded not guilty.
The police chief was on duty Thanksgiving Day when the station got hit, and responded to the call, he said.
The robber had waved a gun at the clerk, screaming “I’m going to shoot you! I’m going to shoot you!” King recounted. But the clerk refused to turn over what was in the cash register.
Eventually, the bandit grabbed a bottle of Gatorade, two packages of tobacco, and ran off, King said.
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