The first robbery of a business that sells bath salts in Johnson City took place early Thursday morning when a Kingsport woman tried to hold up a head shop at knifepoint for the synthetic drug, police said.
Johnson City police were called to Above the Clouds, 4804 N. Roan St., around 2 a.m. Thursday, where Brian Spivey, who works at the store, told officers a woman wearing a tube mask and a hood pulled a knife on him and took a tray of the synthetic drug known as “Crystal Clear.” Spivey and the woman, later identified in a news release as Jessica Hope Stallard, 32, 5745 Orebank Road, No. 3, Kingsport, struggled. No one was injured, according to Johnson City police Sgt. Kevin Peters.
“She got very few (bath salts),” Peters said. “There was an altercation between her and the clerk and most of the product was dropped outside.”
Stallard ran away and later a police dog tracked her trail to a nearby bank where the trail ended, according to a police report. On the way to the bank, police found the tube mask, the tray the bath salts had been on, the knife and a few more “Crystal Clear” containers.
Stallard was found about four hours later in the area after someone reported a suspicious person, Peters said.
She was charged with one count of aggravated robbery and taken to the Washington County Detention Center.
Another man was charged in the robbery, too, police said.
Jason Larkins, 34, 121 Broadview St. Kingsport, was leaving the store when the first officer arrived, Peters said.
He later admitted to being involved in the robbery, Peters said.
Peters said officers are patrolling more around places where bath salts or synthetic drugs are sold. The first officer on scene was there within a minute’s time, Peters said.
“We’re stepping up patrols in those areas,” he said. “We have been for the last couple of weeks.”
He expected incidents surrounding synthetic drugs to increase.
“We’re definitely having more cases arrive through people using bath salts, and I think this may be the first one of many to come of this type of crime,” he said.
Both Stallard and Larkins were being held on $50,000 bond.
They were scheduled to appear in Sessions Court today.