Pharr man accused of using grandmother’s car to rob drive-thru

McAllen police searching for second suspect in connection with robbery

Juan Manuel Mejia

McALLEN — Police here have arrested a man who admitted to robbing an employee of a local drive-thru business, court records show.

Police arrested Juan Manuel Mejia, 17, of Pharr, for his admitted role in a robbery at the Koko Bongo drive-thru in the 4300 block of South 23rd Street in McAllen, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Read the affidavit here.

At about 10:45 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to the business after an employee stated that she was held up by two men, carrying a stun gun and a firearm, respectively.

The employee described the men, stating they were wearing hooded sweaters, gloves and had hidden the bottom half of their faces during the robbery, the document read.

“The victim advised she was arranging products in the drive thru when two male subjects entered the business…” the complaint reads in part.

According to the victim, the man holding the stun gun pointed the weapon at her and forced her into the drive-thru’s office.

Subsequently, the two men tied the victim’s hands behind her back using zip ties, and emptied the cash registers that carried an undisclosed amount of cash as well as taking “various store products,” according to court records.

“The victim advised the male that had the handgun also forcefully removed a gold chain from her neck,” the document read.

As the two men made their getaway, witnesses who watched the men get into a Chevrolet Malibu, followed the vehicle and wrote down the license plate number.

This information led to McAllen police contacting the Malibu’s registered owner, who was identified as Mejia’s grandmother.

Mejia’s mother, who was also made aware of her son’s purported involvement in the robbery, called Mejia and spoke with him, according to the affidavit.

“(Mejia’s mother) then called her son and asked him in Spanish, ‘What did you do,’ but Mejia ended the call with his mother,” according to records.

After speaking with Mejia’s grandmother, officers learned Mejia was last seen with the Malibu on June 7, just before midnight and two days prior to the alleged robbery.

At about 3 a.m. Tuesday, a relative of Mejia’s told authorities she received a call from Mejia conveying that he “was in fear of the consequences for an action he committed.”

Mejia’s mother also said she received a call from Mejia in which he stated, “He wished to cooperate and go to the police station to provide a statement, but he had not made an attempt to do so,” the record shows.

Shortly afterward, officers pulled Mejia over during a traffic stop.

Mejia eventually admitted to being a part of the robbery that took place at the drive-thru, but claimed he did not use a firearm.

“(Mejia) advised he was not the suspect in possession of the .45 caliber pistol at the time of the robbery,” the document stated.

A search of Mejia’s residence turned up a .45 caliber magazine for ammunition, holster, a stun gun and cash in a duffel bag.

Julian Andres Solis

McAllen police continue to search for Mejia’s alleged accomplice, Julian Andres Solis, 18, also of Pharr, who is described as a Hispanic male standing 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing approximately 180 pounds. Solis has brown hair and brown eyes, and is believed to have a tattoo on his right shoulder, according to a McAllen police news release.

Mejia, who was ordered held on a $150,000 bond, remains in custody at the Hidalgo County jail on the first degree felony aggravated robbery charge, jail officials confirmed.

If convicted of the charge, Mejia faces between five years and life in state prison, and a $10,000 fine.