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Footprints in snow helped investigators confirm a suspect in an attempted robbery in Bismarck on Christmas Eve.

Fifty-year-old Jerry Holmes, of Bismarck, was arrested Friday and charged with felony counts of robbery, theft and two counts of attempted simple assault on a peace officer.

Holmes is accused of brandishing a knife at a cashier Christmas Eve night at a gas station on East Rosser Avenue. After the cashier was unable to open the till, Holmes allegedly fled. The cashier also hit a silent alarm.

Court documents say a Bismarck police detective found footprints nearby in the snow and noted the tracks' tread and description.

Police later recovered a bandanna, sunglasses and gloves reportedly used in the robbery, found in a portable toilet. Surveillance footage allowed them to follow the suspect's movements, which led them to the area of Holmes' apartment.

While executing a search warrant on Holmes' apartment, detectives reportedly found shoes matching the footprints in the snow the night of the attempted robbery. Holmes reportedly claimed the footwear.

Court documents say Holmes admitted to committing the robbery in a police interview. A probationary GPS tracker also placed Holmes at the gas station during the robbery, the case's affidavit said.

Following the interview, Holmes allegedly became combative and detectives took him to the floor. He also allegedly lunged to headbutt another officer after a DNA swab.

Bismarck Police say Holmes' intent was to rob the gas station for money for drug trafficking. Holmes has a lengthy North Dakota criminal record, including other theft-related crimes. He also is a registered sex offender.

He is held at the Burleigh-Morton County Detention Center, pending $50,000 cash bond.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or


Crime and Courts Reporter