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Royal City man charged in robbery

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | November 25, 2020 1:00 AM

ROCK ISLAND — A first-degree armed robbery charge is pending against a Royal City man in connection with a holdup at a Rock Island business Nov. 17.

Jesus Torres, 24, also is facing charges in Douglas County for first-degree attempted robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. And, he faces charges in Grant County in connection with multiple robberies Nov. 17 and a chase on Highway 17, where he allegedly fired at pursuing officers.

Douglas County Sheriff Kevin Morris said in a press release Tuesday deputies received a report of a robbery Nov. 17 at BJ’s Auto Truck Plaza, 100 Rock Island Road.

“When deputies arrived they were told a single individual, armed with a handgun, entered the gas station and held the clerk and customer at gunpoint, demanding money,” Morris said. The robbery was reported at 9:32 p.m.

“The suspect left the store with antifreeze and an undisclosed amount of cash,” Morris said.

Earlier that day Torres allegedly held up two businesses in Moses Lake, according to a press release from the Moses Lake Police Department. Torres was photographed by a security camera during the Moses Lake robberies, and law enforcement officers began looking for him.

Grant County Sheriff’s Deputies located Torres and tried to stop him, but Torres fled, firing at officers as he drove away and as they continued to pursue him. One of the bullets hit GCSO Deputy Jeff Wentworth, 41, in the foot.

Deputies pursued Torres through Ephrata and he tried to escape down Road 19 Northeast and state Route 17, but deputies found him and his car was stopped. Torres tried to flee on foot, but was arrested without further incident.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.