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Man, teen charged for gunpoint robbery

WILLMAR -- Two young men made their first court appearances Monday on felony charges for allegedly robbing a downtown Willmar business at gunpoint Friday afternoon.

Angel Guzman Rodriguez, 20, faces charges of first-degree aggravated robbery and second-degree assault in Kandiyohi County District Court. Unconditional bail was set at $200,000. His next appearance is Nov. 30.

Oscar Manuel Trochez-Martinez, 17, faces juvenile charges of first-degree aggravated robbery and aiding and abetting second-degree assault. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was ordered held in Prairie Lakes Youth Program's secure detention area. The teen's next appearance is Nov. 30 and an adult certification hearing was set for Dec. 15.

According to the complaint, police were called around 3:55 p.m. Friday to Quick Return Tax Service, 214 Third St. S.W. on a report that two Hispanic males had robbed the business at gunpoint.

A man there reported that one of the men had pointed a gun at him and taken cash, between $3,000 and $5,000, from the cash register. He described the man in detail; the first man was wearing a blue jacket, glasses, red Santa hat and bright yellow shoes and had very pronounced cheekbones and chin-length black hair. He said the other man, wearing a hooded jacket with the hood up, jeans and white shoes, had turned off the lights to the business and flipped the store "open" sign to "closed" during the robbery.

The men were apprehended late Friday night and early Saturday morning. Rodriguez, still wearing bright yellow shoes, was arrested around 10 p.m. near Cash Wise Foods. During an interview, he allegedly said he needed money because he'd been kicked out of his home and didn't have enough money for rent.

Police found the Santa hat and other clothing along the 400 block of Becker Avenue Southwest, where Rodriguez said they had discarded the garments. He also said they had split the money and hid the guns in the ceiling of an apartment.

Trochez-Martinez was taken into custody around 1:20 a.m. Saturday by officers who staked out the apartment. He had $920 in $20 and $50 bills in his wallet.

A search warrant was served on the apartment and two carbon-dioxide powered BB guns were found in the ceiling. A total of $2,175 was located where Rodriguez had told officers he hid the money.

When interviewed, Trochez-Martinez claimed he didn't know Rodriguez was going to rob the store. When informed by the officer that there was video surveillance footage, he said the robbery was Rodriguez' idea and that both men had entered the business with guns in hand. He said he was given $1,600, that the $920 was from the robbery and that he'd already spent $600 on food and clothing, but didn't know where the clothing was.

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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