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Stanislaus County serial robber charged with Iowa murder
Mykel Roberts
Mykel Roberts

A Modesto man convicted for a series of armed robberies in Turlock and Modesto has been extradited to Iowa to face a murder charge.

Mykel Roberts, 29, was convicted in 2019 for a series of armed robberies of gas stations, mini marts and one pizza place during a spree that started in March 2019 and continued through July 2019.

The Modesto Police Department said Roberts would enter the businesses either alone or with an accomplice and use a firearm to threaten the employees and demand the cash. He was usually wearing a mask. In the Turlock robbery, which happened at the Chevron gas station at 2901 Geer Rd., Roberts fired a gun at the clerk, however, no injuries were reported.

Roberts’ capture was put into motion when the Modesto Police Department Street Gang Unit spotted him while patrolling in the area of Sutter and Rouse avenues. Roberts matched the description of a suspect wanted for robbing a Little Caesar’s Pizza shop and was driving a black older model Honda Accord that was reported stolen out of Turlock earlier that day.

The officers attempted to stop Roberts, but he sped away. The decision was made to end the pursuit quickly because of Robert’s reckless driving and the number of motorists on the street. He was last seen getting onto Highway 99, headed south.

Roberts took the Crows Landing Road exit and continued to Ustick and Lynne Renee Court where he crashed the stolen vehicle and fled on foot. He was eventually captured hiding inside a friend’s house in the 1500 block of Lynne Renee Court.

Detectives with the Major Crimes Unit took over the investigation and a search warrant was served at the address on Lynne Renee Court. As the investigation progressed, Roberts was found to be the suspect in seven commercial robberies involving a suspect using a short barreled AR15 type rifle. Four robberies occurred within the jurisdiction of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, three in Modesto and the one robbery in Turlock.

Roberts was convicted of the robberies and was serving his sentence when in March 2020, he decided to confess to a shooting in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Roberts allegedly had some information, but was uncertain of the victim’s name. A detective in the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department interviewed Roberts to attempt to collect further details and verify the confession and eventually the victim was identified as Dexter Meeks, 22, of Cedar Rapids.

Shortly before 3 a.m. June 26, 2011, Meeks was sitting on the porch of his apartment building with his brother, Andrew Meeks. The two had just walked home from the Tycoon Bar in downtown Cedar Rapids, according to the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

“While they were outside talking, Andrew Meeks observed a man walk eastbound out of the alley next to their apartment building,” the police department said. “The subject stopped in the street and began shooting a handgun at Dexter and Andrew Meeks.  Andrew Meeks told investigators that he was able to get inside the main door of the building while Dexter Meeks pushed him through the doorway.  After getting inside the building, Andrew Meeks stated that he looked back to see Dexter Meeks had fallen in the entryway.  Dexter Meeks had sustained a gunshot wound to the head and would succumb to his injuries a short time later.”

Investigators believe the shooting was tied to an altercation that had happened earlier at the bar.

“Investigators interviewed Roberts and obtained a complete, detailed confession that supported and corroborated many details of the shooting incident that were learned during the investigation,” the police department said.

The Linn County Attorney’s Office in Iowa filed a three-count complaint charging Roberts with murder in the first degree, attempted murder and going armed with intent. He is being held on a $3 million bail.

The warrant was served to Roberts in California and he was extradited to the Linn County Jail.