UPDATE: Five Arrests Made in Two Huntington Gas Station Robbery Cases

UPDATE 6/19/14 @ 7:30 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Five men are behind bars after three gas station robberies in Huntington.

Wednesday night, Huntington Police arrested Juamada Anderson, Douglas Champeon, and James Sterba of Huntington.

Huntington Police tell WSAZ.com they believed the three were going to rob a Rich Oil station on Route 10 and Green Valley Road for the second time Wednesday.

"They took an opportune time when there was low traffic, they felt the place was vulnerable and it was their best time to attempt the crime without getting caught," Huntington Police Lt. John Williams said.

That gas station was first robbed June 10.

Thursday morning, Huntington Police arrested Derek Byrd, and later that afternoon, Patrick McCluny.

Police say they were responsible for two Speedway robberies in Huntington in late May and early June.

"One of our detectives spotted [McCluny] on 7th Avenue," Lt. Williams said.

McCluny just moved into his girlfriend and her mom's apartment a couple weeks ago.

The mother, Crystal Pruett, says she feels duped by a man she tried to help.

"If he's watching I'd just like to say you've messed with the wrong family,” she said, “and I hope you go down for it, because my daughter was good to you. I was good to you. I let you in my home. You repay me by doing this?”

Officers say inside the van Anderson, Champeon, and Sterba were driving, they found several handguns and clothing they believe belongs to Byrd.

Huntington Police say Byrd seems to be the outstanding connection between the group.

Police say the Rich Oil robbery was key to the five arrests, because the case showed similarities to the two Speedway gas station robberies.

"We've thought that both of those robberies were strongly related and we continued our investigation along those lines," said Lt. Williams.

WSAZ.com has learned after the June 10th robbery, Huntington Police and West Virginia State Police started a joint investigation.

Huntington Police say that investigation brought new information, which investigators used to track the three Rich Oil robbery suspects.

While questioning several of the suspects, Huntington Police say a few admitted some part in the crimes.

Huntington Police say Champeon admitted to being involved in the Rich Oil robbery.

Information they collected also leads police to believe Anderson may have been the getaway driver for the June 10 robbery.

West Virginia State Police say Byrd implicated himself in the three robberies.

"Individuals don't have jobs, just have nothing to do, I think they thought they found an easy way to get money and just recruited different people," Lt. Williams said.

According to Cabell County court documents, several of the "recruits" have a criminal history.

Champeon has been arrested for offenses including destruction of property and being a fugitive from justice.

Records show Sterba has a history of offenses as well, including domestic battery charges, burglary, child abuse and domestic assault.

Documents show Byrd is no stranger to the court system. He's been arrested for charges including attempted petty larceny, malicious wounding, and breaking and entering.

That's another reason investigators say making arrests in these robberies was so important.

"The potential for someone getting hurt, increases with each one, the bolder they get," Lt. Williams said.

Officials believe they've arrested the group responsible for the rash of crimes, but said the investigation is still ongoing.

Byrd has been charged with two felony counts of first degree robbery.

McCluny also faces two counts of first degree robbery.

Meanwhile, Anderson, Champeon and Sterba are all charged with conspiracy and attempted first degree robbery.

All are expected to be back in Cabell County court June 30.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 6/19/14 @ 1:45 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Three men have been arrested and charged with attempting to rob the Rich Oil gas station at the intersection of W.Va. 10 and Green Valley Road on Monday night.

West Virginia State Police say that two of the men are believed to be responsible for robbing the same gas station on June 10.

Douglas Champeon, 23, of Huntington, Juamada Anderson 41, of Huntington and James Sterba, 34, of Huntington, are each charged with attempted robbery and conspiracy to robbery.

All three were arrested about 10:30 Wednesday night near an elementary school that is next to the gas station.

According to the criminal complaint, the men were planning to take cash and multiple cartons of cigarettes when they robbed the store Wednesday night.

Troopers say Serba and Champeon planned to commit the robbery, while Anderson would be the getaway driver.

Troopers also say Champeon and Anderson were part of the June 10 armed robbery at the gas station.

In that robbery, investigators say two men went into the gas station, and one pulled out a gun. They got away with some cash. The robbery was reported about 10:30 p.m.

The criminal complaint also indicates Huntington Police were part of the arrests.

Investigators say they believe the suspects could also be connected to two recent robberies at a Speedway in Huntington.

Derek Byrd, 26, of Huntington was arrested Thursday for his alleged role in the Speedway robberies.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 6/10/14
CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An armed robbery happened late Tuesday night at the Rich Oil gas station near the intersection of W.Va. 10 and Green Valley Road, West Virginia State Police say.

Two men went into the gas station, and one pulled out a gun. They got away with some cash.

The incident was reported about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. The gas station is located just south of Huntington.

The men ran away, but it appears they got into a car.

Troopers remained on the scene with K-9 units as of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

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