Jefferson City man charged with robbery, weapon offense

A Jefferson City man faces charges after a robbery earlier this week.

James Wheeler Jr. was charged in Cole County with first-degree robbery, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon -- exhibiting.

A Jefferson City Police Department probable cause statement said police responded to reports of a robbery Monday afternoon in the 300 block of West Ashley Street. There, they contacted a man who said Wheeler had accused him of taking his firearm while changing the oil in Wheeler's car.

The man said Wheeler entered his car, produced a tan handgun and withheld the man's keys, demanded the other firearm back, and eventually left. The man told police he never took a gun from the vehicle, nor knew it was there.

A witness told authorities he saw Wheeler enter the victim's vehicle, but thought Wheeler was harmless.

After he was identified via social media, Wheeler was detained at his residence by police. He told authorities he took the keys, but did not produce any firearm.

A search of his vehicle allegedly revealed a handgun magazine, while the firearm was located in Wheeler's apartment. Wheeler reportedly told police he went to get his oil changed and later noticed his handgun and some marijuana were missing. He said he called the man to meet and retrieve the gun, and admitted to entering the car and taking his keys, but denied brandishing the gun.