A man was charged in connection to a dog food robbery at a Maplewood, Missouri grocery store earlier this month.

According to the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, 42-year-old Gerold Hopkins was charged with first-degree robbery after an incident on June 10th at a Schnucks located at 7355 Manchester Road.

The manager of the grocery store said he saw a man stealing a bag of dog food, and simply asked for him to return the item and leave the store. That's when officials say the man told the manager he had a gun and pointed what the manager believed to be a firearm before running away with the dog food. Maplewood police said he fled the scene on a bicycle.


Officers later searched the area and found a man matching the description. In his backpack, they found a bag of dog food and a staple gun wrapped in black electrical tape that made it look like it was a firearm. Police spoke with the store manager, who identified him as the robber.


“If you need food for your dog, you have to have a better plan than taping up a staple gun to look like a gun and trying to pull off a fake armed robbery,” St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said in a statement. “We won’t tolerate people waving a fake weapon in a place of business in an attempt to rob them. And I can commend this alert store manager for they way he handled this situation - by the grace of God this incident didn't end tragically.”

Hopkins' bond was set at $100,000, cash only. He faces a 10-to-30 year prison sentence or life in prison for the Class A felony if found guilty.

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