Teen Who Confessed Thinks It's Unfair He's Facing Armed Robbery Charges

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As a father of five, I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve heard one of my kids complain “that’s not fair” when something doesn’t go their way. Thankfully that phrase has largely disappeared from my house as they’ve gotten older, but hearing someone complain about unfairness of the consequences of their own actions still has a tendency to set me off, like when I ran across this story from Bay City, Michigan.

An armed robbery of a Bay City party store was foiled by a defiant clerk and a vigilant customer, police are saying. And though the alleged would-be robber left empty-handed, he has since acquired two felony charges, one of which is a life offense.

Shortly after 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 11, police responded to the CB Discount at 1500 Broadway St. in the city’s South End for an armed robbery that had just occurred. While officers were en route, a woman called 911 to say she was following the suspect on foot near Broadway and 32nd streets, according to police reports in court records.

Police went to where the woman directed them and they stopped 18-year-old Spencer A. Krause of Essexville, who was wearing clothes that matched those worn by the suspect. Police arrested Krause and found a .45 compact airsoft gun on the ground near him, reports state.

Now, I can’t recommend following an armed robber after they try to hold up your store, but thankfully in this case it worked out all right for the clerk, who told police that Krause had pointed a gun at her and demanded cash before she told him to “go (expletive) himself.”

The suspect incredulously responded, “You’re not going to give me any cash?” to which the clerk replied “I’m not giving you (expletive).”

After that brief exchange, the suspect left but was tailed by the clerk, and police caught up with him a short time later. At first Krause denied trying to rob the party store, telling officers that he wouldn’t “risk my future for $70 and cigarettes. I don’t even own a gun.”

Krause also told police he had no idea how the airsoft gun ended up at his feet before allegedly confessing to the crime.

Later in the interview, Krause said he perpetrated the crime, though he got no money during it.

“I did not want to hurt anyone,” he told police, according to their reports. “I have a scholarship for college. I don’t want to ruin my future.”

He said he needed the money to stay somewhere.

On having DNA samples taken from him in the Bay County Jail, Krause said he didn’t think he should be charged with armed robbery as the gun wasn’t real.

Maybe read up on criminal statutes before trying to commit an armed robbery, kid. As it turns out, if you display an imitation firearm with the intent of convincing your would-be victims that it’s a real gun, you get to be charged with armed robbery. Additionally, in Michigan it’s expressly written into state statute that using a pneumatic gun in the commission of a felony is a crime in and of itself, and one that’s punishable by a mandatory minimum two-year sentence.
Krause could actually face life in prison for the charge of assault with intent to rob while armed, though it’s likely that he’d receive a much more lenient sentence if the case were to go to trial. Odds are, however, that Krause’s case will be resolved with a plea bargain and he might not end up doing any time at all.
I do feel somewhat bad for Krause, who likely has lost his college scholarship and has put a dent in his future plans. Still, there are better options than committing an armed robbery if you’re trying to get money to put a roof over your head. I can’t help but wonder what the clerk would have said if Krause asked for a job instead of demanding the cash in the till. Maybe she still would have told him to “(expletive) off,” but I suspect that if he’d told her the truth of his situation, she would have tried to help.
Heck, he could probably have sold the airsoft gun and gotten a few bucks out of the deal. He might not have gotten enough for a motel room for a night, but he wouldn’t be looking at the possibility of sleeping behind bars for the foreseeable future either.
Is it unfair that Krause is facing felony charges even though he used an airsoft gun and maintains he had no intention of harming anyone? No, it’s not. I don’t think the 18-year old deserves a life sentence, but he should absolutely face consequences for his criminal acts. What would truly be unfair is Krause receiving a plea bargain that allows him to escape any consequences in exchange for a slap on the wrist and a promise not to do it again.
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