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19-year-old arrested for robbery was parole absconder

A 19-year-old man was arrested Wednesday morning in connection with a robbery and an attempted robbery, both of which occurred on North Main Street early that morning.

Christopher Kindle, of Pierre, allegedly threatened four people with a gun and demanded money and valuables, authorities said Thursday.

“Kindle allegedly pointed a stolen .45-caliber handgun at four different people and demanded money and valuables during these two incidents,” a press release from the Mitchell Department of Public Safety said.

Kindle was taken into custody at 10:20 a.m. by the Mitchell Police Department. He had been hiding in the backyards of houses on the 500 block of East 13th Avenue, said Detective Sgt. Dean Knippling, of the Mitchell Police Division.

Members of the Mitchell community also assisted, the press release said, although Lt. Detective Don Everson declined to comment on the details of this, pending further investigation.

An officer recognized the suspect’s shoes from a previous shoplifting incident, and after a short chase, Kindle was arrested by a Mitchell police officer on a South Dakota parole absconder arrest warrant.

Early Wednesday morning, the Mitchell Department of Public Safety said a robbery occurred at Plaza Cleaners at 822 N. Main St. Authorities said the robbery suspect then headed north from Plaza Cleaners and made contact with a subject behind Coborn’s at 1800 N. Main St., and attempted to rob an individual there before leaving the area. No injuries were reported in either incident.

Kindle is charged with three counts of first-degree robbery, one count of attempted first-degree robbery, four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of commission of a felony while armed with a firearm and one count of possession of stolen property.

Agencies that assisted in the arrest were the Mitchell Police Division, Davison County Sheriff’s Office, South Dakota Highway Patrol and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.

Kindle faces up to 42 years in prison, if convicted, for the three felony charges.

Kindle has a record dating back to 2012, at which time he pleaded guilty to driving without a license. Since then, he has been involved in a series of crimes escalating from driving under the influence to grand theft, most of which occurred in Hughes County. Kindle was originally sentenced to 360 days in jail in May 2017 for criminal entry of a motor vehicle, but was arrested for petty theft one week after that conviction. He is currently 10 months into a five-year probation sentence, after being convicted of grand theft of more than $2,500 and less than $5,000.01. This is the first time he has been charged in Mitchell.

“In the last few years, there’s been a lot of talk about criminal justice reform,” Everson said. “This is an example of someone with a nonviolent past committing violent felonies.”

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