A girlfriend who wasn’t interested in keeping a wad of stolen cash helped investigators in Savage quickly solve an armed robbery.

Tyler Grant Cochran, 18, of Lakeville drove to Mankato to visit his girlfriend after holding up a Savage gas station at knifepoint Tuesday afternoon, according to a criminal complaint filed in Scott County Wednesday. It was only about two hours after the robbery when Cochran showed up at Amber Phillips’ residence, pulling wads of cash out of his pocket and telling her he had robbed the Valley Oil gas station, Phillips told police.

She convinced him to turn himself in. They arrived at the Mankato Police Department at about 5 p.m. with $397 in bills and 25 cents in change. Cochran told police all the money was there except for $1.75 he had spent on a bottled water.

Savage investigators already suspected Cochran was the person they were looking for when they got the call from Mankato.

Sean Bongard, who was working at the gas station, reported the robbery at 2:22 p.m. He told police a man drove up to the store in a green Pontiac Sunfire and filled the car with $31.30 in gas. Then the man walked into the store and asked for, “two cartons of Marlboro Lights and the money from the till,” Bongard reported.

When Bongard asked the man if he was serious, the man pulled out a large knife and pointed at him. Then the man said he was, “dead serious,” Bongard said.

At the same time Lakeville police were attempting to locate Cochran. He had left a residence there threatening to kill himself. Savage police also were able to get a license plate number for the Sunfire from witnesses at the gas station robbery.

Cochran fit the general description of the man at the robbery, so his photograph was shown to Bongard. He and another witness identified Cochran as the person who robbed the store, the complaint said.

Two detectives drove to Mankato to interview Cochran. They were given the cash recovered by Mankato police and took Cochran to a hospital for evaluation. Cochran was taken to the Scott County Jail after he was released from the hospital.

He has been charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, both felonies.

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