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Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • Keyser area businesses hit by robbery attempts

  • KEYSER - The Mineral County Sheriff's Department is currently on the lookout for two male subjects involved in two separate attempted robberies Monday night along U.S. Route 220 South of Keyser.
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  • By Liz Beavers
    lbeavers@newstribune.info
    Tribune Managing Editor
    KEYSER - The Mineral County Sheriff's Department is currently on the lookout for two male subjects involved in two separate attempted robberies Monday night along U.S. Route 220 South of Keyser.
    Sheriff Jeremy Taylor told the News Tribune that the incidents are being treated as separate cases, but certain circumstances lead him to believe they may be related.
    The first incident occurred at 6:32 p.m., when a male subject entered the Dollar General and acted as if he were shopping. He went up to the cashier as if to check out with "a bottle of Coke, some body wash, and toothpaste," according to Taylor.
    "When the cashier rang him up, the subject said , 'I don't have any money,' and the clerk had to abort the sale. When the money tray in the cash register came open, he reached for the money," Taylor explained. "He was unable to get any money, however, and immediately fled the scene."
    According to Taylor, the subject was described as a male, 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighing around 150-160 pounds. He had reddish brown hair and a goatee. He was wearing blue jeans and a gray hooded sweatshirt, which he had pulled close with the drawstring to conceal his face.
    The subject was last seen fleeing on foot in the direction of Advance Auto.
    "We were there within several minutes, but were unable to locate him," Taylor said.
    Then, approximately 20 minutes later, the sheriff's department received a call from Mineral County 911 in regard to a robbery in progress at the Keyser Inn.
    Taylor said in that case, a male subject entered the business by the front door, and walked into the office where a female front desk clerk was working.
    "He displayed a knife, and demanded money," he said. "He put his hand over her mouth and was yelling, 'Where's the money? Where's the money?'"
    A man believed to be a guest at the inn heard the clerk scream and walked out of another room in the front of the building, startling the suspect.
    "The subject stopped, jumped over the counter and ran out the door," Taylor said, adding that that subject also did not get any money.
    That subject was described as a male with light colored jeans and a black hooded sweatshirt, which he also had drawn tightly around his face with the drawstring.
    Authorities were able to extract a grainy photo from the surveillance camera at the Keyser Inn, and were continuing to work to obtain a photo from Dollar General.
    Taylor said the clerk at the inn did sustain a minor cut on her finger, but did not require medical attention.
    Page 2 of 2 - The second subject also fled on foot, traveling south in the direction of Potomac Valley Hospital.
    "We searched the area. Our K-9 tracked him for awhile, but lost his scent behind the hospital," Taylor said.
    Officers also stopped a suspicious vehicle in the area, but determined that the occupants had not been involved in either of the incidents.
    Taylor said the two attempts are being investigated as separate incidents, but he feels they could be related due to the similarities in the way the two subjects were dressed.
    "To say I'm 100 percent certain they are related, no. But I believe they could be," he said.
    Taylor said a third incident which occurred much later Monday night is not believed to be related at all.
    "A male subject walked up to the drive-through window at Burger King and was pounding on the window, saying, 'Let me in,'" he said.
    The subject had left the property when officers arrived at the scene of the 11:53 p.m. call.
    Anyone with any information on any of these incidents is encouraged to call the Mineral County Sheriff's Department at 304-788-0441.

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