Plymouth, Iowa, man charged with Subway robbery

Published 9:35 am Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Freeborn County prosecutors filed charges Friday against the 39-year-old Plymouth, Iowa, man who allegedly robbed the Blake Avenue Subway in Albert Lea.

The man, Anthony Paul Scharper, faces one count of first-degree aggravated robbery from the local incident. This comes following a second-degree robbery charge related to robbery of a Subway restaurant in Clear Lake, Iowa, and a second-degree robbery charge related to a robbery of a Murphy USA gas station in Mason City, Iowa.

Both of the Iowa robberies allegedly took place Nov. 29, while the Albert Lea incident allegedly happened Nov. 27.

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According to the criminal complaint filed in Freeborn County District Court, Scharper reportedly took about $260 from the local restaurant after showing an employee a gun and telling her “he would shoot her if she did not comply.”

The complaint states Albert Lea police officers were dispatched to the restaurant, 1629 Blake Ave., at 4:49 p.m. Nov. 27.

An employee, who was visibly shaken and crying when seen by authorities, told officers she was standing behind the counter in the restaurant cleaning when a man came into the store, the court document states. She asked the man what kind of sandwich he would like, and he told her he wanted the restaurant’s money.

The man told the employee to act normal, and she got the money from the cash drawer, according to the complaint. He then reportedly asked the employee to go to the back of the restaurant and wait five minutes for him to leave.

When he did this, he lifted his shirt, showing a handgun in his waistband, the complaint continues.

When the employee went to the back of the store, she called 911 on her cell phone.

She told authorities that before the man came into the store, she had seen him in a pickup driving slowly past the front window of the restaurant.

When an officer went over to the Accentra Credit Union, next to Subway, to explain what happened, an employee there asked if a dark blue Dodge pickup was involved.

The complaint states that the Accentra employee told police she was sitting at the front desk of the credit union facing Subway when she saw the truck pull up to the drive-through window at the restaurant, look in the window and then back up and out of sight of the window. The man did this three or four times, and it caught her eye, she told police.

By watching video obtained from the credit union, police were able to see the automobile.

Video from Subway also gave police a look at the man while the robbery was happening. He is shown turning from the counter, looking down and then putting something into the right-hand side of his pants.

He was wearing jeans, tennis shoes, a pull-over shirt, sunglasses and gloves. He had short hair, a goatee and a mustache.

On Nov. 30, local police were advised that the Mason City Police Department had arrested a man who matched the description.

A detective with the Albert Lea Police Department went to Mason City and was shown a photograph of Scharper. The detective “immediately identified Mr. Scharper as the man he had observed on the video from the Subway Restaurant in Albert Lea,” the complaint states.

A pair of clip-on sunglasses were found in Scharper’s dark blue, extended cab Dodge Dakota pickup when he was arrested, along with a pair of Craftsman gloves and a semi-automatic BB gun, which looks like a semi-automatic pistol, the document continues.

Scharper is being held at the Cerro Gordo County jail.