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Idaho Falls man arrested after hitting, robbing gas station worker

| August 26, 2020 2:59 PM

An Idaho Falls man was arrested Sunday after he reportedly hit a woman working at a gas station and threatened to shoot her unless she emptied the cash register.

Jacob Stanton, 28, was recorded hitting and threatening the woman by the company’s security cameras.

The victim had a visible bruise on her head when Idaho Falls Police Department officers arrived at the gas station. She said Stanton had come to the counter with a water bottle and told her he would shoot her in the head unless she gave him all the store’s money.

The victim said she thought Stanton was joking and asked him if he was serious. Stanton reportedly responded by punching the victim in the side of the head.

Stanton took the money from the cash register, then left. He left behind the water bottle, which police collected to check for fingerprints.

Stanton was located at the Behavioral Health Crisis Center. A security guard told officers Stanton had admitted to committing a robbery.

Police found $390 in cash among Stanton’s belongings.

Stanton at first said he did not want to speak to officers. When told about the security footage, he responded: “I know that lady said I hit like a (expletive), didn’t she?” He then said, “Oh (expletive), I just incriminated myself, huh?”

Stanton then said he hit the victim because she would not give him the money. He said he wanted the money so he could use it to buy methamphetamine. Stanton expressed hatred for the victim despite not knowing her, saying he was angry because she had not taken him seriously.

Stanton said he had planned to rob a bank before realizing it was closed on Sundays. He said he had also threatened to rob the crisis center. He said he threatened a security guard, claiming he had a gun in his backpack. The guard, however, was not intimidated, and Stanton said he then pretended he had been joking.

Stanton was charged with robbery, punishable with a minimum sentence of five years in prison and up to a life sentence, and battery with intent to commit a serious felony, punishable with up to 20 years in prison. His bond was set at $65,000 and a no-contact order was issued between him and the victim.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Sept. 4 in the Bonneville County Courthouse.