116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — An Iowa City man who was arrested over the weekend faces a robbery charge after trying to steal money from an acquaintance and attack him with a hammer last summer, police said.
Officers were called to 1121 S. Gilbert St. around 4:46 p.m. July 21 for a report of an altercation, according to an Iowa City police criminal complaint. The people involved fled before officers arrived, and witnesses said there had been a fight in the hallway of the building.
Police said a man involved in the incident contacted them later that day. He told them an acquaintance known as “Jay” — later identified as 25-year-old Jacob J. Lester — had asked to come over that day. Police said when Lester arrived, he said he owed people money and the other man was going to cover the debt or be harmed.
Police said Lester tried to steal a container full of cash. During a struggle over the container, Lester armed himself with a hammer and attempted to attack the other man. The fight continued until a neighbor intervened and Lester fled, according to police.
Police said surveillance footage from the apartment complex showed Lester coming and going from the building and most of the struggle over the cash. Officers recognized Lester from the footage, and cellphone data shows the other man spoke with Lester just before the robbery.
Lester was arrested around 2:08 a.m. Sunday, April 18, when officers recognized him. He initially gave police the wrong name and birthday before being identified.
Lester faces one count of first-degree robbery, a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison, and a charge of providing false identification information, a simple misdemeanor. He remains in custody on a $50,000 cash-only bond.
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