Robstown police have apprehended a man wanted in connection with an Oct. 9 convenience store robbery during which the suspect pulled a gun on the clerk.
Detective Sgt. Enrique Paredez Jr. said police arrested 27-year-old Ernesto Niaves Jr. Nov. 5 after an anonymous source informed them the suspect was traveling with two other people in a vehicle in Robstown. An officer pulled the car over and found Niaves as a passenger in the vehicle, at which point the suspect became silent, he added.
"He told the officer that he didn't want to talk to any officer about anything," Paredez said, adding that Niaves was a person of interest in connection with the robbery of Snappy's Store in early October.
"He already knew we were looking for him for the robbery," Paredez said.
Niaves was placed under arrest for having an outstanding warrant on a motion to revoke probation and was transported to the Nueces County Jail, where he was held overnight until Paredez questioned him the next day. The other two people in the vehicle with Niaves were not charged, he said.
Niaves confessed to the robbery after being interrogated, saying he needed the money for drugs, Paredez said. But the suspect denied having a gun, saying he taped two sticks and a piece of plastic together instead, he added.
"You can see on the (surveillance) tape that it is a gun," Paredez said. "Whether it was a BB gun or a pellet gun, we're not sure, but you can see it."
Police said Niaves had been in a court-ordered substance abuse facility in Corpus Christi, but was let out Sept. 10 in order to evacuate from the danger of Hurricane Ike.
When Niaves did not return to the facility on Sept. 14 as scheduled, an arrest warrant was issued and his probation was revoked. It was during his time on the run that Niaves committed the alleged aggravated robbery, police said.
As of Monday, Niaves was being held at the Nueces County Jail on no bond for the arrest warrant, and an $80,000 bond for the aggravated robbery.