A Dark Vader impersonator attempted a Jacksonville Beach robbery, but was deterred by a store clerk, it has recently been reported.
According to Jacksonville Beach Police Department representatives, Jacob Jeremy Mercer, 32, tried to rob an 8 till Late convenience store, on 1375 3rd Street South.
At the time of the crime, which took place on Sunday, November 22 at around 5:30 p.m., Mercer was wearing a Darth Vader disguise, so as not to be recognized on surveillance cameras.
The costume comprised a helmet, as well as an armor with a chest control box, coupled however with regular light blue sneakers and black pants.
As reported by commander Mark Evans, the man had been armed with a silver revolver, and demanded that the shop employees empty the register drawer, and relinquish its contents.
However, the clerk who had been asked to open the cash register refused to comply, and instead decided to try and disarm the robber. That is when he grabbed a jar of blue cheese dressing and hurled it at the culprit, hitting his helmet.
During the scuffle, a bottle of wine also smashed on the floor, and eventually the robber dressed as Darth Vader fled the store unceremoniously.
When he was outside, the thief pulled off his mark, and people could finally see his face, which he had been carefully hiding until then.
A witness, who didn’t wish to reveal his real identity and asked the media to refer to him as “Ricardo”, recounts that he had been terrified to watch the scene as it unfolded, especially when he came face to face with the culprit. As Ricardo reveals, Mercer had a bloody countenance, because the glass container had broken his nose bridge.
The failed robber scampered and jumped into his getaway car. Despite the fact that Ricardo had tried to hunt down the man in his own vehicle, when Mercer ran through a stop sign, and headed towards First Street, his pursuer was no longer able to continue the car chase.
However, police managed to retrieve the silver vehicle with New York plates, pertaining to the suspect, on South Fifth Street.
The perpetrator, originating from Tonawanda, New York, was eventually arrested by law enforcement, at a nearby place, where he had been residing.
Police found ammunition and several guns in his backpack, and the witness confirmed that Mercer had been the one who had robbed the convenience store. The thief was taken into custody, at Duval County jail, and also required hospitalization following the injuries he had sustained during the robbery.
A spokesperson from Jacksonville Police Department has declared that no other people have been hurt in the incident. Charges have been laid against Mercer, for attempted armed robbery, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
It’s not actually unprecedented for perpetrators to use the Darth Vader disguise while robbing stores. One such incident occurred in May 2012, in a Toledo, Ohio bank, and more recently, back in March, another armed robbery featuring a Darth Vader impersonator took place at another bank in Pineville, North Carolina.
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