Suspect recognized, caught after face covering slips

Robbing a convenience store at gunpoint is no laughing matter, but when the incident unfolds like an episode of “Reno 911,” even the victim can find some humor.

Such was the case of a 24-year-old Grand Junction man who is accused of trying to rob a convenience store where he regularly shopped.

According to witnesses, Milton Telemaque entered the C & F Food store at 2847 North Ave. around 4 a.m. Tuesday wearing a T-shirt wrapped around his face. As he entered the store,  the T-shirt slipped, exposing part of Telemaque’s face and causing the store clerk to laugh out loud, store manager Gloria Miller said.

“When he was trying to readjust it, the guy says, ‘Will that camera get my face?’ And (the clerk) told him, ‘Yes, it will get your face,’” Miller said.

The suspect then left the premises and the clerk called police.

“He (told police), ‘I think there was a guy in here who was just trying to rob me,’ ” Miller said.

Telemaque returned to the store a few minutes later and walked around the counter brandishing a handgun, Miller alleged.

The clerk recognized the suspect as a regular customer and informed him that police had been called, she said.

Consistent with company policy, the clerk opened the register drawer and stepped back, allowing the suspect to withdraw the cash within, Miller said.

Telemaque was greeted by police with weapons drawn as he exited the store, but ran the opposite direction and managed to evade them for about 40 minutes, Miller said.

A Fruita Police Department K-9 unit eventually sniffed the robber out on the property of GJ Ready Mix, where he was taken into custody, she said.

Telemaque was booked into Mesa County jail. No bond was set as of Tuesday afternoon.

A stretch of North Avenue, from 28 1/4 Road to Harris Road, and 28 1/4 Road from North Avenue to Gunnison Ave. were briefly closed while officers searched the area, Grand Junction Police Department said.

Mesa County Sheriff’s Office deputies assisted in the effort.

“He wasn’t the brightest thief,” Miller said. “I told my boss, ‘You need to put this on the (TV show) The World’s Dumbest Criminals.’ ”


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