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Suspect in convenience store robbery, break-ins around Mecklenburg arrested

SoVaNow.com / February 21, 2018
Police have arrested a South Hill man who they say is linked to the robbery at a convenience store in Boydton Friday night, a break-in at a convenience store in South Hill and a church in Chase City, both of which occurred on Sunday.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Ronald Keith, 35, Sunday and charged him with felony unauthorized use of a vehicle and breaking and entering.

Keith is believed to be the same person who robbed the Triangle #1 Grocery at the corner of Jefferson and Highway 58 in Boydton.

According to deputies, a man matching Keith’s description entered the store at around 6:54 p.m. Friday and made a purchase. When the clerk opened the register to make change, the suspect reached over the counter and grabbed an undisclosed amount of cash from the drawer.

He fled the scene in a burgundy truck loaded with industrial equipment in the bed of the truck.

The store employee was able to provide deputies with a description of the suspect and the getaway vehicle. That information, along with video evidence was used to issue a BOL (be on the lookout) to the surrounding counties.

Sometime between 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17 and 9:30 a.m. Sunday someone broke into Concord Baptist Church on Highway 47 in Chase City, though it appears nothing was taken, according to reports by Corporal Scott Edmonds.

The breaking and entering charge stems not from Friday’s incident or the break-in at the church, but rather from a burglary early Sunday, Feb. 18 at Quick Stop #1 at the intersection of East Atlantic Street and Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill. Police responded to an alarm call at the convenience store in downtown South Hill just after 1 a.m. Sunday. When Deputy Josh Watts arrived, he discovered the front door was shattered.

After searching the store, Watts and Cpl. Baisey found that lottery tickets and a soda were taken from the store. Among the evidence they collected was video camera footage from inside the store.

Keith was picked up Sunday, without incident. Officers with the Chase City Police Department assisted in the arrest.

Edmonds received a call Sunday from an officer with the Chase City Police Department who said he stopped a vehicle stopped at the intersection at Fifth and Washington streets that may be of interest in the cases under investigation by the sheriff’s department.

The corporal responded and took Keith into custody. He was subsequently taken to Meherrin River Regional Jail, where he was booked on arrest warrants for felony unauthorized use of a vehicle and felony breaking and entering, additional charges are pending.

In other crime news, a high speed race through four counties ended in the arrest of a South Carolina woman on Friday night.

Deputy Davis Cumbia was patrolling I-85 around 5 p.m. when his radar detected a vehicle traveling nearly 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.

The deputy activated his lights and siren trying to stop the vehicle, but the driver increased her speed, and instead of pulling over, exited from the interstate onto Highway 58 east. With Cumbia in pursuit, she continued speeding on Highway 58 toward Brunswick County, often reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph.

Cumbia attempted to pull up beside the vehicle, but the driver swerved into his lane of traffic, nearly striking the deputy’s vehicle.

The chase continued into Brunswick County where spike sticks were deployed near Route 46. The driver evaded them driving through the median into the west bound lane, while still heading east. Once past the spikes, she again crossed the median, returning to the eastbound lane where Deputy Cumbia again took evasive action to avoid being struck by the speeding car,

In Brunswick County, the Virginia State Police and Brunswick County Sheriff’s office picked up pursuit, continuing through Brunswick and Greensville counties and into Southampton County, where deputies there were finally able to stop the car.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Melissa Faye Reyes, 28, of South Carolina. She was taken into custody in Southampton and charged with attempted murder.

Two individuals were arrested on drug related charges, both while driving.

Andrew Jackson of Richmond was caught speeding on Highway 58 near Butts Street in South Hill on Saturday. According to Cumbia, Jackson was travelling 70 mph in a 55 mph zone when he was pulled over. Approaching the car, Cumbia said he detected an odor he associated with marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.

A search of the car turned up a container containing green leafy substance, which tested positive for marijuana. Jackson was issued two summons, one for speeding and one for possession of marijuana.

On Monday Sgt. Chris Baird issued two summons to Candice Pearce of Boydton, one for possession of marijuana and the other for driving on a suspended license.

Baird was patrolling Highway 58 near Route 4 when he saw Pearce’s vehicle heading east with an unspecified traffic violation. Baird stopped the car and as he approached he detected an odor associated with marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. During a search of the car, Baird recovered a container containing green leafy substance, which later tested positive for marijuana.

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