Local News

Pikeville Police: Teen Robbed Store, Possibly Others

Posted April 23, 2007 9:59 p.m. EDT

— A 17-year-old male was arrested Monday for allegedly robbing a local grocery store last week. Officials are also trying to decide if the teen was involved in other robberies.

Kenneth Ray Spruill has been charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon. He is being held in Wayne County Jail in lieu of $45,000 bond.

Spruill allegedly barged into Howell Brothers Grocery the night of April 18, pointed a gun at the owner's head and demanded money several times before fleeing with the cash.

The owner, who was still visibly shaken the next morning, said the store had never seen an armed robber before in its 60 years in business. He declined to discuss the incident, saying he just wanted to get on with business as usual.

Kimberly Hall said she and other store employees were also stunned.

"It's got me now constantly on my guard, watching people coming in, watching their body language," Hall said.

"This is a real intense situation with a real dangerous suspect," Pikeville Police Chief Ken Barrett said.

Authorities investigated a string of similar armed robberies in Wayne County a year ago, and Barrett said investigators are looking into whether they are connected to the latest robbery.