LEWISTON — Two men said they were joking when they told a Lisbon Street Dunkin’ Donuts clerk Sunday they were robbing the store. But the joke was on them after the clerk pulled out a gun and pointed it at them.
The clerk told police the two men came into his store shortly before 2:30 a.m. and asked if he was alone, according to a police report.
The clerk asked them what he could get them.
The men said, “All of your money.”
The clerk asked if they were robbing him. They said they were.
He asked them if they were joking. They said they were not.
The clerk again asked if the two were robbing him. They said they were.
At that point, the clerk, who has a concealed handgun permit, revealed a handgun and pointed it at the men.
The men then said they were joking.
The clerk told a co-worker through his headset to call 911. When she came to the front counter, the clerk told her the two men were robbing the store. The men repeated they were joking and left the store without any money.
The clerk gave police a detailed description of the two men.
Police canvassed the area and were able to find the license plate number of a van that had been parked at a nearby oil company by reviewing that company’s security video footage.
Police located the van on Fairmount Street parked near the home of one of the suspects. The two men were taken to the police station, where they offered their accounts of the earlier events at the Dunkin’ Donuts store.
Arrested and charged with robbery were Billy Wilson, 20, of 50 Fairmount St., and Nicholas Gibbens, 24, of 13 Lake St., Auburn.
According to a police affidavit, Wilson said he and Gibbens went to get a drink and some doughnuts at the store, where they usually know some of the people working. Wilson said that when the clerk asked the men if he could get them something, Gibbens told the clerk, whom they didn’t recognize, that he needed “a lot of money.”
The clerk asked if he was being robbed. Wilson acknowledged Gibbens said it was a robbery, and he confirmed the clerk’s version of the verbal exchange with Gibbens. Then, he said, the clerk pulled a gun.
Wilson told the clerk that Gibbens had just been joking and they didn’t need money.
After telling the clerk he was sure they were joking, the clerk lowered the gun.
Wilson told police he hadn’t believed the joke would go that far.
The clerk told them to leave and not return.
When police asked Wilson who would think that joke was funny, Wilson said he asked Gibbens that same question when the two returned to Wilson’s home.
Gibbens told police a similar account of the events, saying he thought the clerk had been going along with the joke.
Gibbens told Wilson afterward that the joke wasn’t a smart thing to do.
Asked why he thought it was funny to tell the clerk they were robbing the store, Gibbens said he didn’t know.
Robbery is a Class A felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
A judge in 8th District Court set cash bail for Gibbens at $1,000 Monday, with conditions that included no contact with Wilson, the clerk or a witness. He was ordered not to return to Dunkin’ Donuts. He also was held on a charge of violating probation.
Wilson’s cash bail was set at $400 with the same conditions.
Both men were seeking court-appointed attorneys.
A law allowing gun owners in Maine to carry concealed weapons without a permit goes into effect on Oct. 14.