Woman accused in pair of armed robberies due in court for plea hearing

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Christopher Schmidt, Maria Rothering

SHEBOYGAN — Maria Rothering, the woman accused in a pair of armed robberies was expected in court Tuesday, May 22nd for her plea hearing.

20-year-old Rothering along with 29-year-old Christopher Schmidt are charged with attempted armed robbery and robbery party to a crime — for allegedly holding up a couple of gas stations earlier this year.

Police say the first robbery took place at the Petro Center on S. Business Drive. The second armed robbery occurred at Fisher’s Food and Liquor near 4454 S. 12th St.

Authorities say a knife was used as a weapon in both robberies.

One of the clerks who says they were robbed at knife point said Schmidt and Rothering  walked in together, wearing hooded sweatshirts and acted like customers, walking around the store for 20 minutes, and even stacking the counter with items. Just when Schmidt appeared as though he was going to pay, he took out a knife and put it at the clerk’s side.

“When I felt the knife I was like ‘okay fine – let him take the money,” Sandra Ruppel, the clerk at Fischer’s said.

Ruppel said she felt conflicted and even briefly fought off the robber for a moment.

“I slammed the drawer on him twice trying to stop him for taking it,” Ruppel said.

The owner of Fischer’s Food and Liquor, Keith Fischer, said one of his regular customers acted as a Good Samaritan and chased the two people in question, even getting a good description of the getaway car.

Schmidt has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced.

Rothering is expected to stand trial in June.

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