WATERLOO – A Waterloo man has been arrested in a string of store robberies, and he is accused of sexually attacking employees in two of the crimes.
Police said Tuesday that Jamar Ronod Wise, 25, of 430 Reed St., was behind four holdups at Waterloo stores in recent months.
Wise — already on parole for a 2009 robbery — was caught Tuesday morning following a short foot chase after police noticed him casing the YesWay convenience store on San Marnan Drive shortly before 7 a.m.
Police said his clothing, including a black sweatshirt with a Nike swoosh logo, was consistent with robberies in January and February, and his shoes matched footprints from the scenes.
By afternoon, Wise was charged with one count of each of first-degree robbery, first-degree sexual abuse, assault with intent to commit sex abuse and assault while participating in a felony and three counts of second-degree robbery.
The charges pertain to the Jan. 29 robbery at Metro Mart on Falls Avenue; the Jan. 31 hold up at Neighborhood Mart on Lafayette Street; the Feb. 10 robbery at B&B East on Bishop Avenue; and the Feb. 27 robbery at Prime Mart on Broadway Street. All of the crimes happened around 6:30 to 7:30 a.m.
During two of the crimes, the robber fondled female employees. One of the women resisted when he attempted to pull her away, and he knocked her unconscious and attempted to undress her. She grabbed a liquor bottle to defend herself, and he fled, court records state.
During another robbery, the suspect grabbed the worker by the hair and threatened to kill her. She fell as he began to pull on her clothing, and he ran away.
On Tuesday morning, Waterloo police were conducting surveillance when officers noticed Wise drive past the YesWay store a few times and then park nearby on Brookeridge Drive, leaving the engine running. He was wearing all black clothing and gloves with his face covered as he went to the store.
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No one was at the store’s counter, and police chased him when he exited.
WATERLOO -- A Waterloo man who was 16 when he allegedly robbed a motel has been granted a ne…
Wise is currently on parole after winning a court battle to overturn a mandatory minimum prison sentence for prior robberies.
Authorities said Wise was involved in a December 2008 home robbery where victims were bound with duct tape, a January 2009 stickup at a Logan Avenue motel where a clerk was clubbed in the head with a handgun and an April 2011 holdup at an Independence Avenue convenience store.
The home robbery was handled in juvenile court, and he pleaded to a reduced charge of first-degree theft — which carries no mandatory minimum — for the store robbery. He also pleaded to first-degree robbery for the motel, which carried up to 25 years in prison with 17 years before parole.
Following a string of national and state cases that challenged automatic mandatory minimums for crimes committed by juveniles, Wise appealed his robbery sentence because he was 16 when it happened.
The Iowa Supreme Court overturned the automatic minimum and allowed a district court judge to decide if Wise would be eligible for parole before the 17 years was up.
When the district court judge again imposed the mandatory minimum, Wise appealed again and won an Iowa Court of Appeals decision in March 2016. He was let out of prison and placed on work release in May and paroled in July.