UPDATE: Arrest in Portsmouth Restaurant Robbery

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 8/18/14 @ 3:45 p.m.
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Portsmouth Police say they have arrested the man they believe is responsible for a series of robberies in Portsmouth earlier this year.

James R. Horner, 28, of Portsmouth was arrested in Levy County, Florida last week.

Chief Robert Ware says Horner was arrested after evidence connected him to the June 14 robbery at the Portsmouth Pizza Hut.

Ware says the robbery was reported by an alert citizen who observed what they believed was a subject entering the store to commit a robbery.

On Tuesday, detectives will travel to Florida to bring Horner back to Portsmouth to face the charge.

Ware said Horner waived extradition to Portsmouth during a hearing last week.

Ware said at this time, detectives do not know if the arrest will connect Horner to other robberies this year.

The robberies happened at the Dakota Restaurant on Feb. 23, 2014, McDonald’s restaurant on May 1, 2014, and at a Pizza Hut on May 28, 2014, and June 8, 2014.

Another robbery occurred at Frank N Steins Bar on June 6, 2014.

Ware said in all the robberies the suspect entered the business either through the employee entrance or a rear door .

When Horner is returned to Portsmouth, he will be arraigned in Portsmouth Municipal Court on a charge of aggravated robbery. The case will then be presented to a grand jury where additional charges will be considered.

Aggravated robbery carries a maximum penalty of up to 11 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. The use of a firearm in the commission of a robbery can carry an additional three years in prison.

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) --Police are looking for the man who robbed a Pizza Hut in Portsmough early Sunday morning.

The armed robbery happened at the store on Scioto Trail just after midnight.

Portsmouth Police say the suspect followed an employee in through a rear door, after the employee has gone outside to empty the trash.

During the robbery, the man showed a handgun, got an undetermined amount of cash, and then fled the store through the same rear door.

Police say there have been several robberies in the past several months where the suspect got into the business by following the employee in after they had taken out trash, or through doors there are not normally open to customers.

As a result, police are asking businesses to take extra precautions when allowing employees to open doors that are not used by customers.

It includes sending two employees to accomplish the task, locking the door after the employee taking out the trash leaves the building and having a signal or code word from the employee before the door is unlocked allowing them back inside, and installing security cameras on doors where employees enter and exit.

Anyone with information on the Pizza Hut robber is asked to call 911.

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