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SELMA – Robert Cervantes, 23, of Selma, was arrested by the property crimes detectives with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office in connection with the armed robbery of the AM/PM store at 12019 S. Highland Ave., Selma.

Detectives were able to identify Cervantes thanks to a tip from a member in the community.

Cervantes is in the Fresno County Jail facing felony charges of robbery, use of a deadly weapon and attempted carjacking. He also faces a misdemeanor charge for a bench warrant related to driving on a suspended license. His total bail is set at $33,500.

Cervantes was caught on video surveillance cameras entering the store around 2:30 a.m. March 24. At first, he appeared to be purchasing a drink, but once he got to the counter, he changed his mind and left the store.

Minutes later, Cervantes is seen running out from his hiding spot behind the building as he attempts to carjack a woman in the parking lot, threatening her with a knife. The woman was able to keep hold of her keys, lock the car, separate from Cervantes, throw her hot chocolate at him and run into the store for help. Just as the clerk was about to dial 911, Cervantes ran back into the store.

Once back in the store, Cervantes jumped over the counter and demanded the clerk give him cash from the registers as he threatened her with a knife in his hand. He erratically paced back in forth, threatening the clerk and other customers in the store, including the woman he tried to carjack. She locked herself in the bathroom for safety. Cervantes eventually took a bag full of money and left the store, running toward an open field. No one was injured.

Anyone with additional information about Cervantes, or this case, is asked to contact the Detective Aurelio Flores at 600-8172, Crime Stoppers at 498-7867 or www.valleycrimestoppers.org. Callers will remain anonymous and may receive a cash reward.

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The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or lbrown@selmaenterprise.com.

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