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Bloomington man tries to rob Village Pantry with a fire extinguisher

A Bloomington man was arrested Thursday morning after allegedly trying to rob a Village Pantry with a fire extinguisher.

When police arrived at 1300 West Third Street around 12:15 a.m., they found the convenience store filled with a white chemical powder fired from a fire extinguisher. Standing behind the front counter was Wesley Wilder, 29, with his shirt off, Capt. Steve Kellams said.

Bloomington Police Department originally received a disturbance call from a female employee, and officers found her outside the store once they arrived. 

The employee told police Wilder had entered the store around midnight and went straight for the store's fire extinguisher. He then walked up to the front counter, pointed the extinguisher at her and said he was robbing the store, Kellams said.

Wilder then saw the employee reach for the store’s landline phone, but she said he grabbed it from her hands and smashed it. She told officers that she felt threatened and then ran out to the parking lot to call police on her cell phone. 

Officers took Wilder into custody with no resistance, Kellams said, and he is facing charges of robbery, intimidation, interfering with reporting a crime and criminal mischief. Wilder caused well over $1,000 worth of damage to the store and merchandise with the extinguisher, police said.

“Wilder had no explanation for his antics,” Kellams said. 

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