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Man robs bar in Aneta, N.D., arrested later in the day

A man suspected of robbing the Whitetail bar Sept. 29, 2010, in Aneta, N.D. was arrested the same day and was being held at the Grand Forks County jail, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke said.

A man suspected of robbing the Whitetail bar Wednesday morning in Aneta, N.D., was arrested later in the day, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke said.

The Sheriff's Department received a report shortly after 11 a.m. that an armed man wearing a mask held up the bar in Aneta, a town with a population of just less than 250.

Janke said the man came through the front door of the bar and demanded money from the owner, Willie Crocker, who was opening for the day.

A customer, whose name was withheld, walked into the bar to see the robber pointing a handgun at Crocker's head, Janke said.

"The patron just exited as soon as he witnessed what was going on," the sheriff said.

Janke said Crocker gave money to the robber, who moments later left out the front door. Witnesses reported he ran north on foot, but they lost sight of him when he went behind a building.

Janke said the robber made no threats during the holdup and that no one was injured. The sheriff would not disclose how much money was stolen.

Reached by phone, Crocker told the Herald that authorities had asked him not to discuss the robbery.

After the robber fled, officers responded to the scene and unsuccessfully combed the area. Through investigation, authorities got a description of the suspect's vehicle -- a Honda Prelude registered to Ronald Gore of rural Finley, N.D. -- and an APB was sent to officers throughout the region, Janke said.

Roughly an hour after the robbery was reported, officers stopped Gore, who was driving on North Dakota Highway 15 between Northwood and Thompson, and took him to the Grand Forks police station for questioning, Janke said.

Gore, 31, was later arrested on suspicion of robbing the bar.

He will be taken to the jail in Devils Lake today and could have a bail hearing today as well, Janke said.

A message left for Gore at the Grand Forks County jail was not returned Wednesday.

Based on evidence, particularly surveillance footage, Janke said the robbery appears to be linked to two recent incidents at Spicer's Grocery in Aneta: a break-in on Sept. 23 and vandalism on Sept. 24.

"We feel very comfortable that we're going to be able to tie all these three incidents together," he said.