A 27-year-old man is facing felony charges after allegedly robbing United Dairy Farmers (UDF) and leading authorities on a high-speed pursuit.
James C. Turner is being held in the Fayette County Jail on charges of first-degree felony robbery, third-degree felony fleeing and eluding, first-degree misdemeanor theft, second-degree misdemeanor possession of drug abuse instruments, second-degree misdemeanor obstructing official business, and resisting arrest.
On Sunday just after 7 p.m., Washington C.H. Police Department officers were dispatched to UDF, 1710 Columbus Ave., in reference to a robbery. The caller advised that a man with a knife had stolen two cartons of cigarettes and departed the area in a red Chevrolet truck.
Officers patrolled the area and found a vehicle matching the description. One officer attempted to stop the vehicle, which fled onto Hickory Lane to State Route 38, on several county roads, back to State Route 38, and finally northbound on Interstate 71. Once on I-71, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office deployed stop sticks to stop the vehicle just north of State Route 56, according to reports.
After Turner was arrested, Washington police officers spoke with UDF employees. A clerk reportedly said that a male came into the store and selected several grocery items. As she rang up the items, the male attempted to pay with a credit card, however the transaction was denied due to insufficient funds.
After attempting to run the card several times, the man allegedly grabbed the bag containing the two cartons of cigarettes and ran from the store. Another store employee and a customer in the store ran after the man who was later identified as Turner.
As he was being chased, Turner yelled, ‘Do you want shot?’ and pulled out a knife, according to the witnesses. Turner then allegedly ran to the car wash where the red Chevy truck was parked. Video surveillance from the store positively identified Turner as the same man who stole the items and was later arrested in the pursuit, police said.
Two cartons of Newport cigarettes and a package of oatmeal cookies stolen from UDF were recovered inside Turner’s truck.
Officers later learned that Turner allegedly stole items from Duncans Express Mart earlier in the day, reports said. A separate report and charges are pending from that incident.
Turner is being held in the jail on a $67,250 bond.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica