Grass Valley robbery suspect caught after over a year | TheUnion.com

Grass Valley robbery suspect caught after over a year

David John Pierce

An investigation into the August 2016 robbery of a South Auburn Street gas station ended Wednesday with the arrest of a Newcastle man, authorities said.

Grass Valley police say David John Pierce, 29, wielded a hatchet when on Aug. 25, 2016, he stole money and cigarettes from Circle K, 133 S. Auburn St. Charged with robbery, Pierce remained Wednesday in the Nevada County Jail under $104,000 in bond, authorities said.

Police used surveillance video footage and local media to help identify Pierce, who is accused of entering the gas station around 4 a.m. that morning. Holding a hatchet, Pierce walked around the front counter and confronted the clerk, Capt. Steve Johnson said.

"He threatened him with a hatchet and demanded money from the register," he added.

Taking a small amount of money and a few cigarette cartons, Pierce ran from the store and disappeared. Officers searched the area, but didn't find him, the captain said.

"However, they did find some abandoned clothing and the hatchet a couple of blocks away," Johnson said.

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Detectives examined the video footage and obtained a still shot that then was published in local media. Several people provided tips to police, one of which said Pierce was the robber, he added.

Last month investigators eliminated all other suspects and determined Pierce was the sole person of interest in the case. Authorities then obtained an arrest warrant for him, Johnson said.

On Tuesday a Grass Valley sergeant spotted Pierce riding a motorized bicycle on Freeman Lane. The sergeant stopped his vehicle and arrested Pierce without incident, he said. Records show that Pierce was booked early Wednesday into jail.

"The Union helped us solve this one, in part," Johnson said. "The key to solving this case was one of the tips we got from that article."

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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