WARSAW — A Warsaw man used his wife’s car and similar methods in two separate armed robberies and was arrested when surveillance video connected the two crimes and led back to his wife, police say.
Christopher Wesley Roberts, 38, 2106 E. Jefferson St., Warsaw, is charged with robbery with a deadly weapon, a level 3 felony, and theft, a level 6 felony.
Police said that on Jan. 2, officers responded to a report of a robbery at the Country Mark gas station in northern Warsaw. The store’s cashier told police that a man wearing a ski mask entered the store with a knife in his left hand ordering the cashier to follow his instructions or he would be stabbed and shot.
The man then took all the money from the cashier register, more than $750, as well as the cashier’s cell phone, and ordered the cashier to go to the cooler and wait until he left the store. The cashier waited approximately five minutes, then called police.
Police began a search and found the discarded face mask in an alley. The cashier’s phone was found a few blocks from there. Surveillance video showed a black hatchback driving in the area of the robbery around the time of the incident.
A few days later, on Jan. 7, a robbery occurred in Wabash with a knife-wielding suspect who ordered the cashier to wait in the cooler and fled in a black hatchback. The vehicle was identified as a Toyota Matrix. By getting a list of registered owners, police traced the investigation back to the wife of Roberts, who reported to police that when she saw the surveillance photos of the first robbery, she thought it might be her husband.
When she sent pictures to his phone, he made statements that police called incriminating. She told police she recognized clothing items in the photos and videos as belonging to Roberts.
Police obtained a search warrant for Roberts’ residence as well as the Toyota. Police retrieved several clothing items that matched the description of clothing items seen in surveillance video.
Roberts was booked in Kosciusko County Jail on a $20,250 bond, surety and cash. Police are also seeking a charge of invasion of privacy after it was reported that Roberts has attempted to contact his wife following a protective order issued against him.