This went out over the scanner at about 2:30 p.m. yesterday:


From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On 05-12-2015 at 2:20 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report, regarding an attempted robbery that had just occurred at the 76 Gas Station on Reasor Road, McKinleyville. It was reported that a male suspect wearing a white fabric, possibly bandana ,covering his face, wearing a green jacket with a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans had left the gas station riding a silver bicycle west on Reasor Road. The suspect was further described as a white, male adult, 5’-7” to 5’-8” in height, 150-160 pounds, with dark eyes. Deputies immediately started checking the area for the suspect.

A deputy contact the male clerk at the gas station who reported the following to the deputy. The clerk said a male suspect entered the gas station and walked up to cash register carrying a “river rock” about 6”-8” in size. The clerk described the rock as about the size of a melon. The clerk said the suspect said I need the money, give me the money. 

The clerk at first said he thought the suspect was joking. The clerk said he accidently locked himself out of the cash register which caused the suspect to become agitated. The clerk said the suspect then struck the glass counter with the rock, which caused the glass to shatter. The clerk said at this point the suspect became distracted by a customer in the store and turned around. The clerk said he then grabbed a crowbar from the window behind the counter and he struck the suspect in the head with the crowbar. The clerk said he does not think he hit the suspect very hard. The clerk said the suspect then took off running out of the store and took off riding a silver bicycle west on Reasor Road. The clerk said the suspect was unable to take anything from the store.

A few minutes later deputies located a male suspect matching the description the clerk had had provided sitting in a field at the intersection of Park Avenue and B Avenue, McKinleyville. The deputies saw a silver bicycle lying next to the suspect. The suspect appeared to be changing his clothes and the clothes the clerk had described were lying next to him. The deputies also noticed the suspect had an ACE, white bandage wrap on the ground next to him. The deputies could not see any injury to the suspects head. The suspect was identified as 35 year old, Jason Edward Balke from McKinleyville. Balke was then detained by the deputies. When the deputies detained Balke they located (1) gram of methamphetamine in his pocket.

The clerk from the gas station was transported by the Sheriff’s Office to the suspect’s location to see if he could identify the suspect. When the clerk saw the suspect he said the clothing was similar to what the suspect was wearing when he saw him at the gas station. The clerk said he was certain the bicycle was the same bicycle the suspect was riding when he left the gas station.

Balke was then placed under arrest for attempted armed robbery and for possession of methamphetamine. Balke was then transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and his bail was set at $50,000 dollars.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.