Clerk couldn’t ID armed robbery suspect, affidavit says

James Rucker

The Grand Junction Police Department says a 30-year-old man committed an armed robbery Saturday at a North Avenue gas station, despite the fact the lone eyewitness in the case couldn’t finger him as the suspect.

James Rucker, 30, was contacted by an officer minutes after an armed robbery was reported around 12:35 a.m. Saturday at Bradley Sinclair, 233 North Ave., according to an arrest affidavit. Rucker, while in contact with police, was brought back to the scene for the recently victimized store clerk to consider for a “field show up.”

“(Clerk) stated James was not involved,” the affidavit said.

Rucker was let go, but not before officers took photos of him.

One officer observed Rucker “was sweating even though it was nearly 30 degrees out at the time,” the affidavit said.

Rucker was contacted by officers in the predawn hours of Wednesday walking in the 1700 block of North Avenue, where an officer observed he was “wearing the distinct shoes” seen on the feet of Saturday’s robbery suspect, as evidence by the in-store video, the affidavit said.

Rucker on Wednesday was also wearing a black jacket with a white band around the bottom of the jacket, the affidavit said.

“In the surveillance video you can see that a piece of clothing with a white trim at the bottom is hanging out below the grey sweatshirt that he had on over it,” the affidavit said. “Mr. Rucker (Wednesday morning) was also wearing a black sweatshirt with a hood on it which matched what was seen on the video as well.”

A semi-automatic .40-caliber handgun was allegedly found concealed under Rucker’s shirt during the Wednesday morning contact, the affidavit said.

An officer observed “wearing” on the tip of the gun, while the clerk from Saturday’s incident described the weapon as black and “scuffed up,” the affidavit said.

A check of records showed Rucker has a prior weapons-related felony conviction from Detroit.

The clerk who was robbed early Saturday told police he was outside smoking a cigarette when a black male walked into the store and retrieved water from a back cooler, then walked up and requested cigarettes from behind the front counter.

“(Clerk) stated he jokingly told the male he would have to pay double for interrupting his smoking break,” the affidavit said.

At the counter, the suspect brandished a gun and demanded “all big bills.” The amount of cash taken was redacted in the copy of the affidavit provided by the Police Department.

Rucker was booked at 3:20 a.m. Wednesday at the Mesa County Jail on suspicion of aggravated robbery, menacing, theft, possession of a weapon by a previous offender and illegally carrying a concealed weapon.

Police spokeswoman Kate Porras said an investigation is ongoing. The department refused to release a booking photo on Wednesday.


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