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Willmar man pleads to charge for Holiday station robbery


WILLMAR -- Mohamed Ahmed Jama, 20, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge of first-degree aggravated robbery for robbing the Holiday Station along Litchfield Avenue Southwest during the early morning hours of July 18.

As part of a plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, a charge of second-degree assault will be dismissed. He will be sentenced Nov. 15.

The charges were filed after Willmar police officers were called around 3:45 a.m. July 18 to the gas station, where a female employee reported she had been in the back room when a young man entered the store. The man wore black and had a face mask on with sunglasses underneath.

The woman said the man pulled out a butcher knife and demanded money. She put the money from the cash register into his backpack and he proceeded to leave. The man was described as being age 14 to 16, 5 feet, 4 inches tall and skinny. Approximately $135 was missing from the register.

Video surveillance of the robbery showed a male African American wearing a black hoodie, shorts, a red face mask and glasses.

A Willmar police officer had stopped a man riding a bicycle, wearing the same black clothing, around 2 a.m. that morning and identified him as Jama. The officer was suspicious of Jama's clothing, including a sweatshirt, in the hot and humid weather.

Information received from citizens led police to Jama and to his apartment along Fifth Street Southwest, where a search warrant was served July 24. Officers found the clothing and the backpack used in the robbery and arrested Jama.

Another resident of the apartment later told a police detective that Jama had left the apartment that morning and returned with money, but then did not leave the house for a week. The man also turned over a red mask and sunglasses that he had found hidden in a suitcase. The items matched those described by the store clerk and the video surveillance footage.

The man also identified Jama as the man in the store video footage.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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