3 p.m., Aug. 16
Experienced robber accused of leaving wallet at scene
The clerk behind the counter said it was before 11 a.m. when the robber came into her shop, on July 5 2012.
He was wearing sweatpants and had both hands in the pocket of his hoodie sweatshirt. The tall man asked about services available at the Check ‘n Go, and set his brown wallet on the countertop.
“He came in, waited for the customer to leave, inquired about one of our services, then the robbery began.”
The clerk remembered the day for a court hearing. She said the man either had a gun in the pocket of his hoodie, or he simulated a gun with his hands. Then, “he came around the counter, demanded that I put the cash in the bag.” The man brought his own bag, “it was a brown grocery bag.” She said she put $984 in the bag. The man ran out the front door with the money and then she locked the doors and went to a back room to dial 911, she told a judge. When the clerk was in the back, she could hear pounding and kicking on the front doors, and she looked around in time to see the man was back in the store -- he grabbed his wallet that he had left on the counter, and then ran out the door again. She noticed then his sweatpants were torn, ripped around the crotch area.
A man at a neighboring business noticed a man kicking at the door of the Check ‘n Go and the neighbor used his cell phone to record video of the man, whom he saw running back and forth through the parking lots and over a security fence. He said the man got into a black Dodge Charger.
Escondido Police Sergeant Craig Miller said he witnessed a black Dodge Charger with “heavily tinted windows,” registered to Torrence Andrew Williams, “immediately accelerate away” from responding officers. That Dodge collided with a white SUV less than 2 miles away, which ended the police chase, according to Sgt. Miller.
The driver who was pulled out of the smashed Dodge wore sweatpants that were torn around the crotch, according to Sgt. Miller, and a black hoodie was recovered from the passenger seat. More than $900 cash was recovered from the inside of the car and the person of the driver.
Torrence Andrew Williams, 36, pleads not guilty to felony charges of robbery and burglary and evade officers with wanton disregard. Prosecutor Benjamin Barlow alleges the multi-felon’s career began when Williams was 18 years old, that was a conviction for stolen vehicle and felony evade officers with reckless driving in Oceanside. Two years later there was another stolen car in Vista, and then in 2001 Williams was sentenced to 8 years prison for two counts of armed robbery in Escondido.
The current matter is considered a “three strikes” case. Torrence Andrew Williams was ordered to answer all charges at the end of a court hearing September 25, and his next court appearance is set for October 23, in San Diego's North County Superior Courthouse.