Couple apprehended in video game store robbery

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WASHINGTON, MO (KPLR) – A clump of blonde hair and an ankle GPS monitoring device helped Washington police track down two people suspected of robbing a local video game store at gunpoint.

The Game Depot in Washington has been a popular place to buy and sell video games for six years. The store owner, who did not want to go on camera, said until Thursday the only thing scary in his store has been some video games.

When an armed woman walked into the store and announced a robbery, the owner pulled out a gun of his own.

The store owner grabbed the woman’s arm holding her firearm, pointed it upward, and then told her to drop the weapon. When she didn’t comply, the store owner struck her in the head with his gun. The owner’s wife grabbed the suspect by the hair and tried to detain her.

The suspect broke loose and ran off, but not before a clump of hair was ripped from her scalp. She jumped over a nearby retaining wall and escaped in a waiting vehicle with a male accomplice.

Police learned the man driving the vehicle as wearing an ankle device from a previous robbery. The company monitoring the device gave police location updates every 15 minutes. The couple visited several retail stores throughout the St. Louis area.

Authorities conducted a traffic stop on Highway 100 near Walmart and the pair was taken into custody. They were identified as 20-year-old Oscar Rivera and his girlfriend, 21-year-old Ciera Ruengert, both of New Haven, Missouri. A one-year-old was in the car with them.

Investigators said the couple was trying to do some shoplifting to get some quick cash to purchase heroin.

Rivera and Ruengert were charged with robbery, armed criminal action, and endangering the welfare of a child. The child was taken into protective custody by the Missouri Department of Family Services.