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Winfield Daily Courier
By DAKOTAH M. DAVIS
Posted Apr 26 2004
Local authorities caught a Rose Hill robbery suspect without incident Sunday after a Winfield resident spotted the man driving south on U.S. 77 and alerted police, officials said today.
Police stopped and arrested Gary A. Menard, 40, on the U.S. 77 bypass, thanks to Winfield’s Jeremy M. Tate. Tate happened to be in his vehicle listening to a police scanner when a dispatcher announced a lookout warning for Menard around 5:40 p.m. Police described Menard as a white male in his 40s wearing a red shirt and a blue cap and driving a 1998 Chevy Silverado. Menard was wanted for robbing the Rose Hill Save-a-Trip at 1313 N. Rose Hill Road.
Using his cell phone, Tate called the Arkansas City Police Department and said he was following a Silverado with Butler County tags. Tate continued to follow the truck south, giving police and sheriff’s officers the man’s location as he drove. Menard was easily apprehended without a pursuit.
“The caller gave us enough time to get around him (Menard),” Ark City Police Chief Dan Givens said. “He really had no place to go once we confronted him.”
Menard reportedly told police he was just driving around after having an argument with his wife. But a search of his vehicle revealed evidence from the robbery, including cash.
Rose Hill Police Chief Bob Sage said around 5:15 Menard slipped a Save-a-Trip cashier a note saying he had a gun and wanted money. Menard really didn’t have a gun, but got away with a little over $100 and a carton of cigarettes anyway. Apparently, Menard also left with a plan.
“We think he was heading down to Oklahoma to go gambling,” Sage said.
Sage described Menard as a rural resident with no criminal record. Information about Menard suggests he recently quit taking a prescription medication for depression, the police chief said. Menard has been charged with one felony count of robbery and was scheduled to be arraigned in a Butler County courtroom today.
Sage was pleased with Menard’s quick capture and appreciative of all the help his department received. Without the assistance, Rose Hill police could have spent a lot of time trying to identify the man using the store’s video tape.
“That is the perfect example of law enforcement agencies sharing information and cooperating,” Sage said. “They (police and sheriff’s officers) really need a pat on the back. They did a great job for us.”
Sage said he also wanted to thank Tate personally for his help.
The event marked the first robbery in Rose Hill in ten years, the chief said.
The Courier was unable to reach Tate for comment.