Robbery suspect arrested, charged
Authorities have arrested the man they believe robbed the Sunset Curve BP Amoco gas station off of U.S. Highway 10 in Weyauwega.
Justin M. Baumgardt, 27. formerly of Waupaca, was charged with armed robbery Thursday, July 5. He is currently being held in custody on a $50,000 cash bond.
Shortly before 6 a.m. Sunday, July 1, Baumgardt allegedly entered the gas station and threatened to kill the clerk if she did not open the cash register and the safe.
According to the criminal complaint, the clerk told Detective Sgt. James Gorman with the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department that a man wearing a pink, hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses entered the store with his arm over his face and the hood over his head. He held what appeared to be a crowbar and ordered her down on the floor.
The man continued to yell and swear at her and told her he would kill her if she did not do as he ordered.
After stealing hundreds of dollars from the store, the man left and the clerk called 911.
The clerk was not able to describe the suspect’s face. However, video surveillance cameras at the station provided images of a man between 5-foot-8-inches and 6-feet tall, weighing between 170 to 200 pounds, with a thin build in his early to mid 20s. The images also showed that he had short brown hair with a bald spot at the crown and a short trimmed beard on the jaw line.
Gorman thought he recognized the suspect in the video as Baumgardt due to his many prior contacts with local law enforcement.
Since December 2001, the Waupaca County district attorney’s office has filed 16 felony complaints and seven misdemeanor complaints against Baumgardt. His numerous convictions include burglary, theft, auto theft, forgery uttering, delivery of cocaine and failure to report to jail.
In January 2008, Baumgardt was sentenced to two years in state prison. In June 2010, he was convicted of misdemeanor theft for a crime committed in December 2009.
Baumgardt was convicted of battery in April 2011 and sentenced to five months in jail.
He is currently facing a charge of theft from an August 2011 incident, charges of bail jumping and disorderly conduct from a March 2012 incident, and two felony counts of forgery uttering from a November 2011 incident. He failed to appear for a court appearance regarding these charges on June 15 and warrants were issued for his arrest.
After viewing the surveillance video from the Weyauwega gas station, Gorman contacted Appleton police and gave them Baumgardt’s last known address in Appleton. He also gave them a description of the robbery suspect’s car, a gray Ford Focus.
At 6:45 a.m. Tuesday, July 3, Appleton police arrested Baumgardt, whom they found sleeping in a gray Ford Focus in the parking lot of his girlfriend’s place of employment. The Focus was registered to the girlfriend.
Gorman subsequently interviewed Baumgardt’s girlfriend. According to the criminal complaint, she said she allowed Baumgardt to borrow her Ford Focus while she worked her shift from 6 p.m. Saturday, June 30, to 6 a.m. Sunday, July 1.
Baumgardt allegedly arrived about 20 minutes late to pick her up from work. The girlfriend said he had a large amount of cash on him. they went out to eat, went shopping and filled the car with gas. She later found her tire iron lodged under the driver’s seat.
The woman owns a pink, hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses similar to those worn by the robbery suspect. She also identified the suspect seen in the surveillance video as Baumgardt.
Baumgardt faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted.