SIDNEY — Sidney Police are continuing to combat the recent wave of business robberies, arresting three people Monday night after a knife-wielding man held up a gas station.
One man charged in Monday night’s incident also was charged in connection with a holdup Sunday, and police believe the group was involved in several other robberies in Sidney and Piqua.
Monday at 9:51 p.m., police were dispatched to the Marathon gas station at 525 E. North St. A lone man in a dark jacket with his face concealed entered the business and displayed a knife and demanded money from the two clerks. After obtaining the cash from the register, the man fled south on foot from the business to a waiting white minivan. The van then drove southbound down Brooklyn Avenue.
Several minutes later, responding officers went to 306 E. Court St., where they believed that the getaway vehicle had gone. At the residence, police found clothing used in the robbery, along with the cash stolen from the gas station register.
Police arrested three people and charged them in connection with the robbery. Arrested and incarcerated at the Shelby County Jail were Arthur Leon Bennett, 25, at large, charged with one count of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; and Jessie A. Wriston, 26, and Norita Gleason, 46, both of 306 E. Court St., both charged with one count of complicity to commit aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony.
In addition to the Marathon incident, Bennett was charged with one count of complicity to commit aggravated robbery for his alleged involvement in the robbery at the City Carryout on Sunday. At that incident, police arrested Brett A. Copeland, who is a relative of Bennett. Police said a second person was involved with that robbery and was waiting parked in a silver, two-door vehicle near the Alcove Restaurant, located at the corner of North Street and Main Avenue.
A joint investigation is ongoing with Sidney and Piqua police regarding the rash of recent robberies occurring in the two cities. Facts uncovered during recent events have led investigators to believe that this group of individuals is involved and additional charges are being reviewed by Miami County authorities, police said.
The three suspects from the Marathon robbery were arraigned Tuesday in Sidney Municipal Court. Judge Duane Goettemoeller set $100,000 cash/surety bonds for all three defendants. The Bennett and Wriston cases were continued to Aug. 18 for services of an attorney. The Gleason case was set for a preliminary hearing Aug. 18.
Copeland, 23, of Pomeroy Avenue, was arraigned in Municipal Court Monday on a charge of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony. Goettemoeller set a bond of $100,000 cash/surety and set a preliminary hearing for Aug. 20 at 9 a.m.
At 10:38 a.m. Sunday, police were dispatched to the City Carryout, 132 N. Ohio Ave., on a report of a robbery. A clerk working in the business was confronted by a lone individual who was concealing his identity by wearing a sweat jacket and bandana over his face. The suspect had a knife and demanded money from the clerk. A store video obtained by police shows the clerk, who was armed with a handgun, challenging the suspect and wrestling him to the ground. The suspect was detained on the floor until police arrived.
Other recent robberies were:
• Tuesday, July 22, 10:49 p.m., at the Checkered Flag Drive Thru, 1151 Wapakoneta Ave., Sidney.
• Sunday, July 27, 9:15 p.m., at the Oasis Drive Thru, 1222 Michigan St., Sidney.
• Sunday, July 27, 10:39 p.m., in the parking lot of Sidney Food Town, 1010 Wapakoneta Ave., Sidney.
• Tuesday, July 29, 10:38 p.m., at the Spring Thru Drive Thru, 225 Spring St., Piqua.