The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 4, 2013

If the shoe fits, a robber might have been wearing it

MANKATO — Police used Facebook and a shoe to help identify the assailant in a neighborhood grocery robbery last week.

The robbery at Mocol’s grocery was reported at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday. George Mocol reported he was jumped by a man he didn’t know while leaving the store with a money bag. After he put up a fight with that man, a Mankato man Mocol did know, 18-year-old Shaquille Deandre McNair, jumped in to help the other suspect, Mocol reported.

 The robbery was stopped when Mocol’s two brothers and a nephew helped him fight off the attackers and call police.

The money bag was recovered along with a shoe and a cellphone.

McNair was arrested at the scene. The other suspect, later identified as 22-year-Gilbert Paul Neal of Chicago, ran away and wasn’t caught.

McNair and Neal were both charged with second-degree robbery Friday. But Neal, who goes by the first name Chaynce (pronounced “chance”), had not been arrested as of Monday afternoon. A nationwide warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The criminal complaints filed Friday reveal more information about how investigators linked Neal to the robbery. When McNair was interviewed after his arrest, he initially denied any involvement in the incident. But he allegedly broke down after a detective told him they would eventually identify the other suspect and then they would know he was involved.

At that point McNair told the detective he and Neal, who he only knew as Chaynce, were walking to a friend’s house to help him move when Neal said he was going to “hit” Mocol’s. Detectives went to McNair’s Facebook page and found a man named Chaynce Neal was listed as a friend. A picture on Neal’s Facebook page matched the description of the man Mocol said attempted to rob him.

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