Man charged in Walmart robbery, April 22 gunfire

Jimmie Joe Cheesman III

A Vigo County man faces multiple felony charges in connection with an April 22 robbery and gunfire on the city's east side.

Jimmy Joe Cheesman III, 19, faces charges of robbery, criminal recklessness, pointing a firearm and intimidation filed in Vigo Superior Court 6.

Cheesman was arrested early Wednesday in connection with an early morning robbery at Walmart on U.S. 40/Indiana 46 on Terre Haute's east side.

According to a probable cause affidavit, city police said a store employee attempted to stop a man who left the store with a shopping cart containing a television, diapers, and several other items for which he failed to pay. A bystander attempted to assist the store employee by confronting the man, but the bystander said the man pointed a gun at him, so the bystander backed away.

The bystander took a video of the man and the car, a white Pontiac Grand Am with “two poorly applied black racing stripes spray-painted onto the vehicle” from the hood to the trunk.

Another witness who saw the confrontation followed the Pontiac as it drove away, police said. That witness told police the Pontiac driver stopped in the roundabout at New Margaret Drive and Sycamore Terrace, got out of the car and fired one shot toward the witness, striking the front fender of the witness's truck.

Police recognized the Pontiac from another theft incident, and learned the car had been spotted at a local motel. Witnesses at the motel said they had seen the Pontiac there April 22 prior to the Walmart incident. However, the witnesses told police they later learned from the suspect in the Walmart incident said the car had been towed by police after a traffic stop later that day.

City police learned Indiana State police had towed the vehicle from the area of North Ninth Street and Fourth Avenue that day. But by that time, the Pontiac had been spray-painted black. It also had a false license plate.

Police said Cheesman was the driver of the Pontiac, and confirmed he was the same suspect in the bystander video from the Walmart robbery.

Cheesman remains in the Vigo County Jail with bail set at $35,000 cash only.

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