JUNEAU – A 17-year-old Watertown boy pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Dodge County Circuit Court to a charge of armed robbery.
Avery Bence faces a felony charge of armed robbery and a misdemeanor charge of battery after allegedly spraying a staff member at Casey’s gas station on North University Avenue in Beaver Dam with pepper spray before taking several packs of cigarettes.
Bence could face up to 15 years in prison for the felony charge.
According to the criminal complaint, two younger masked men entered the gas station on Nov. 28 at 12:45 a.m. One of the men sprayed the clerk with pepper spray and the same person selected several packs of Marlboro Red Seventy-Twos.
The clerk attempted to detain and was able to demask the men but they both were able to flee away on foot. Some merchandise in the store was damaged as well.
Police obtained the video footage from the assistant manager. According to the criminal complaint, Beaver Dam Police did a Wisconsin Crime Alert on Dec. 1 and came back with a tip about Bence being the primary suspect.
According to the criminal complaint, police spoke to the mother of Bence who confirmed he was the one in the photos from the gas station. Bence said he was asked by the other people he was to steal the cigarettes and refused to identify who he was with that night.
He said he wanted to sell the cigarettes to an 18 or 19 year old because you have to be 21 to purchase them.
Thatcher Sehrbrock was also charged with armed robbery and his arraignment is scheduled on Aug. 18.
Bence has a telephone scheduling conference scheduled for Aug. 20.