UPDATE: Snowbank helps police stop armed robbery; 34-year-old facing multiple charges

Local News

UPDATE 11:12 a.m.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A snowbank helped Sioux Falls police arrest an armed robbery suspect late Wednesday night in central Sioux Falls. 

According to Sioux Falls Police Department spokesman Sam Clemens, police were able to stop and arrest Benjamin Swalley, 34, after he allegedly hit an 18-year-old with a gun and stole his pickup truck. Swalley, of Sioux Falls, is facing numerous charges, including robbery, aggravated assault, grand theft, possession of a firearm by a violent offender as well as drug and traffic violation charges. 

Police said the incident started at 11:30 p.m. when the 18-year-old victim was giving a ride to “a friend of a friend.” The 18-year-old went into an apartment building at 33rd Street and Duluth Avenue where Swalley and four people were. Two people took out guns and hit the victim in the head after demanding cash, Clemens said. 

Swalley and a woman — Janelle Nelson, 34, — took the keys to the truck and drove away. 

The victim called police and while police were taking the report, they noticed the stolen truck drive by. Another officer was close by and tried stopping the truck which led to a short pursuit. 

The truck ended up hitting a snowbank near 27th Street and Norton Avenue. 

“It probably was trying to make a corner and wasn’t able to make that corner,” Clemens said. 

An officer following the truck went up to the driver’s side of the truck to get the driver out. Swalley was trying to get the truck unstuck and kept going back and forth in the snowbank. The officer slipped and fell and was able to get out of the way unharmed before more patrol cars boxed the truck in. 

Clemens said police aren’t sure if this was a random act or a setup. Clemens also said police aren’t sure why Swalley drove the truck back by the apartment. 

Police know who the other people were in the apartment and are still looking for them. The investigation is still on-going. 

There were no gunshots fired, but police did use weapons to try and blow out the truck’s window. The victim had minor injuries and some police cars had minor damage.

Nelson was arrested for drug possession and also had a warrant for drug possession. 


6:09 a.m.

Sioux Falls police are investigating a truck robbery. 

According to police, around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, someone stole a truck near West 33rd Street and south Duluth Avenue. 

When officers arrived on scene they were able to find the victim of the robbery who they say had minor injuries.

Our news crew was there and got video of the truck after it was found crashed in the area of West 27th Street and Norton Avenue. 

Authorities said two people were arrested in connection with the robbery. 

The robbery is still under investigation.

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