Man charged after robbing Smoker Friendly store with air pistol, officers say

Crime

MANNINGTON, W.Va. — A man has been charged after robbing a Mannington Smoker Friendly store with an air pistol, officers said.

On Nov. 20, officers were dispatched to a Smoker Friendly at 203 E Main St. in Mannington in reference to an armed robbery, according to a criminal complaint.

When officers arrived on the scene, the robber, later identified as Robert Butcher, 28, of Mannington, had already fled the scene, and was described as being 5 foot 9 inches with red hair and a medium build armed with a black firearm and wearing a hoodie and khaki shorts, officers said.

Officers were told by a victim on the scene that Butcher had brought beer to the counter then displayed a firearm and said “he was taking the beer,” and the victim was unable to access the video of the robbery at the time, according to the complaint.

Deputies with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department then received a call that Butcher was seen walking across the Walgreens parking lot toward the First Exchange Bank while carrying beer, but when deputies arrived they did not see Butcher, officers said.

Officers then returned to Smoker Friendly where the robbery took place, and at that time the manager had arrived to allow officers to view footage from the robbery; officers also contacted owners of other stores in order to obtain their security footage, according to the complaint.

From that footage, officers were able to see Butcher pull into the Walgreens after coming from Market St. in Mannington, then exit his vehicle and walk into Smoker Friendly; Butcher later exited the store carrying a carton of beer, officers said.

Later, officers learned that the vehicle’s registration matched to an address on Marshall St. in Mannington, and officers obtained a search warrant for the residence in order to find the clothes and firearm associated with the robbery, according to the complaint.

Working with deputies, officers searched the residence after receiving verbal consent “by the homeowner” and found an “air pistol matching the description given” … “by the store employee” tucked in a couch where Butcher had been sitting when officers arrived, as well as a carton of Budweiser, officers said.

During the search, Butcher was wearing the clothes shown in the security footage, and he matched the description given by the Smoker Friendly employee, according to the complaint.

Butcher has been charged with armed robbery. He is being held in North Central Regional Jail on $250,012 bond.

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