Incline Village store clerk prevents possible armed robbery

Authorities arrest a suspect Monday afternoon in Incline Village.
Miranda Jacobson / Tahoe Daily Tribune

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nevada – The swift and decisive actions of a store clerk may have prevented a theft and possibly more Monday afternoon at Incline Village.

Lady Luck Skate and Smoke Shop’s cashier and father Gabriel Jeno was on duty when a man entered the building and immediately raised red flags for Jeno.

“He was covered in black from head to toe,” Jeno told the Tribune. “He had his hood on with a cap, his hair covered his face and he was wearing a mask, and there was a glassy look in his eyes.”

After deciding to give the customer the benefit of the doubt and start providing service, Jeno noticed that the suspect had what he described as an elongated magazine clip hanging from his right pocket.

Jeno said when the suspect walked over to take something out of his backpack he was carrying, he realized he might be in danger and left the store.

“Thinking quickly, I offered him a drink and patted him on the shoulder and said, ‘Hey, do you need something from the store? “He said ‘no’, and I walked right past him like he wasn’t any wiser, locked the door behind me and left,” Jeno said.

Jeno went to a nearby store and called the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Moments later, authorities arrived in force at the scene, including agents from the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and the Nevada Highway Patrol.

“They were so fast. It was amazing, ”Jeno said. “I was out of danger and immediately informed the deputies as soon as they were there.”

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office said in a social media post Monday afternoon that it was responding to a possible theft, with MPs at the scene and help from NHP and Placer County.

Tourist Josh Christian was walking with friends on Southwood Boulevard when he noticed someone strange walking into the skate shop.

“I was just looking in the skate shop and there was some suspicious activity,” Christian said. “I saw him come in with an extended clip.”

Christian, Jeno and other witnesses gathered at the scene and watched more than 10 police cars, with officers armed and protected by bulletproof vests, respond.

Christian said it was evident from across the street that there was resistance from the suspect.

“He wasn’t complying very well,” Christian said. “He broke the window, jumped out the door, and walked about 10 feet. “

Once officers surrounded the suspect, they could be heard yelling at the suspect to drop his gun and lie on the ground.

Witnesses told the Tribune that the suspect was shot with a sandbag pistol.

Paramedics arrived at the scene as the suspect was apprehended. The suspect has not yet been identified.

As the suspect was apprehended, authorities learned of the existence of another theft, which turned out to be the Wells Fargo theft reported by the Tribune.

Phone calls to WCSO on Monday requesting more information have yet to be returned.