ELIZABETHTON — The Elizabethton Police Department has arrested a man suspected of robbing two convenience stores on Christmas Eve.
An investigation of the robberies and the witness description of the getaway cars led Sgt. Willard Johnson of the Criminal Investigations Division to make an arrest on Christmas Day.
Randy Keith Burrow, 30, 141 Lacy Hollow Road, was charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of theft. Burrow was incarcerated in the Carter County Jail over the holiday pending his scheduled appearance in Sessions Court on Jan. 30.
Johnson said the first robbery took place around 2 a.m. on Christmas Eve at the Citgo store at 2404 W. Elk Ave.
The shift commander at the time of the robbery, Capt. Greg Workman, spoke with the store clerk, who told him she was sweeping the parking lot when a silver or gold Chevrolet Trailblazer drove up. A man and a woman got out of the vehicle and the clerk told them she would be inside the store in a minute.
When the clerk came inside, she said the woman moved the Trailblazer. When the clerk got behind the counter, she said the man told her “this is a robbery” and told her to give him the money. The clerk said she thought the man was joking. The man began yelling at her “this is not a joke, give me the money from the register.”
The clerk told Johnson that the man told her he had a gun but she did not see it. She said he kept his right hand in his coat pocket, insinuating that he had a gun in his pocket.
The man obtained about $145 and ran from the business as other customers started to come in.
Johnson said there was a security camera at the store. The robber wore a hood but made no other attempt to hide his appearance.
The second robbery occurred around 6 a.m. at the Zoomerz convenience store at 821 W. Elk Ave.
The shift commander, Jason Shaw, spoke with the clerk. The clerk’s description of the man matched the description of the man involved in the earlier robbery.
The clerk said the man came in the store and asked for a pack of L&M cigarettes. When the clerk reached for the cigarettes, he said the customer had his hands in his pocket and told him he had a gun and demanded money from the register.
The clerk said it appeared the man really didn’t have a weapon and refused to give him money and demanded that he show him the gun. The man then grabbed the cigarettes and ran out the door. The clerk followed the man outside and got a description of the car and the license number. There was no money taken in the second robbery.
Through the license number obtained by the clerk and the description of the two vehicles, Johnson was able to locate the owners. He said both owners admitted they had driven Burrow to the scene of the robberies but they did not have prior knowledge he was going to rob the stores. Johnson obtained the current address for Burrow.
Shortly before 3 a.m. on Christmas, officers from the Elizabethton Police Department and the Carter County Sheriff’s Department found Burrow at his residence and arrested him.
“We had a lot of cooperation from the sheriff’s department,” Johnson said.
He said the investigation is continuing.