April 23, 2013

Gunman robs tobacco store

Gray woman arrested as getaway driver

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — While a rash of armed robberies has taken place over the past several weeks, two persons were arrested after a robbery at Brock’s Tobacco Store Tuesday night.

Shawn K. Stehlin, 32, of Ky. 552 in Lily, and 46-year-old Darla McCormick of Ascott Drive in Gray, are both charged with robbery following an investigation by Laurel County Sheriff’s officials.

The robbery took place around 8 p.m. at the Laurel business, located near the intersection of Ky. 229 and Ky. 1189, five miles south of London. A lone gunman wearing panty hose for a mask, entered the store armed with a pistol and took an undisclosed amount of money. He reportedly left the scene in a maroon Blazer, driven by a female accomplice.

Senior Sgt. Greg Poynter, Deputy Larry Parrott, Deputy Robbie Grimes and off-duty Captain Rodney Van Zant and off-duty Deputy Josh Scott responded to the 9-1-1 call about the robbery.

While en route to the scene, officers received information from a witness who had followed the suspects’ vehicle. The witness obtained the license tag number of the vehicle, which had been hidden at a nearby car wash bay.

After a short search by sheriff’s officials, the vehicle was spotted by Deputy Larry Parrott on Ky. 552 in the Lily community near a small grocery store. Parrott questioned the driver of the vehicle, and then arrested McCormick for her involvement in the robbery.

McCormick told police she had dropped her accomplice — Stehlin — at his mother’s residence on Ky. 552. Poynter and Parrott then went to that address, where they found Stehlin hiding under a bed in a bedroom at his mother’s house. Once located, however, Stehlin didn’t give up easily, initiating a scuffle with police and resulting in subsequent charges of resisting arrest and menacing.

Deputies also found all the stolen money in Stehlin’s possession, and later found the pistol used in the robbery. McCormick showed police where Stehlin threw the pistol out the window of the vehicle following the robbery as they traveled from the tobacco store.

Besides the Brock’s Tobacco Store robbery, Stehlin is also a suspect in another attempted robbery on Monday night. In that incident, a lone gunman approached the drive-thru window of Wildcat Tobacco Store on East Ky. 80 around 8 p.m. and stuck a pistol at the clerk who opened the window of the drive-thu. However, some people were standing nearby and the robber fled the scene on foot and was not located.

Detective Charlie Loomis, Detective Daryl Zanet, Lt. Chuck Johnson, Senior Sgt. Greg Poynter and Deputy Kevin Berry investigated that incident.

Stehlin is also a ‘person of interest’ in other area robberies, some of which have occurred in other counties, according to Deputy Gilbert Acciardo.

Detective Charlie Loomis is continuing the investigation into the incidents.