Alexandria Man Charged with Attempted Aggravated Robbery

December 28, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Billy Ray Thomas
Gregory Micheal Patton
Jack Adams

A 48 year old Alexandria man allegedly tried to pull off an armed robbery at Prichard's Foods in Alexandria Saturday night.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Billy Ray Thomas of Lower Helton Road is charged with attempted aggravated robbery and unlawful carrying of a weapon with the intent to go armed.

His bond totals $55,000 and he will be in court on the charges January 22nd.

Sheriff Ray says on Saturday night at 6:52 p.m. 911 received a call from Prichards Foods in Alexandria that a man had come into the store, got some items, and brought them to the cashier. As he approached the counter, the man was wearing a rag over his face telling the cashier he had a bad cold and didn't want her to catch it. When she totaled up the items on the cash register, the man pulled a knife, pointed it toward the cash register before the drawer opened and ordered the cashier to " give me what you got". The cashier turned and ran through the store screaming for someone to call 911.

The man then left the store and got in his vehicle but before he drove away, the store manager had followed him outside and wrote down the license tag number. He then called 911.

Another witness later called 911 and reported that he was behind the vehicle and that it was going east on Highway 70.

Officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled over the vehicle, a 1994 Dodge Sedan, on Highway 70 near Dowelltown and placed Thomas into custody.

Inside the vehicle, the officers found an eight inch knife between the seats and a rag that may have been used in the attempted robbery.

Sheriff Ray says officers later learned that Thomas had gone into another Alexandria store Saturday "looking for help" prior to the incident at Prichards Foods.

According to Sheriff Ray, Thomas walked into the Dollar General Store in Alexandria and asked the cashier for help. He was holding a rag over his face and had a knife in his back pocket. The cashier told him to go outside, get rid of the knife, and come back in and she would help him. He then walked out of the store and left. Thomas did not display the knife and apparently did not make any demands of the cashier while he was at the Dollar Store. Nothing was taken and no one was injured.

Thomas was not charged in that incident.

In addition to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Alexandria Police Department assisted in the case.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, 33 year old Gregory Micheal Patton and 49 year old Jack Adams both of Petty Road Smithville were arrested Saturday after a traffic stop on Bluhmtown Road.

Sheriff Ray says deputies stopped Patton for a traffic violation after observing him driving a 1993 Chevy Cavalier. Upon entering the vehicle, officers detected a strong smell of alcohol and they noticed a half of a six pack of Busch beer in the rear floorboard. Patton submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. Patton had a smell of alcohol on his person and he was very unsteady on his feet. A search was conducted and a marijuana cigarette was found in a cigarette pack in Patton's pocket. Deputies also found a hypodermic needle between the seats of Patton's car. A check of Patton's driver's license also showed them to be suspended for failure to pay child support. Patton admitted to drinking beer, but refused a blood test. He was arrested for driving under the influence, driving on a suspended driver's license, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $3,500 and he will appear in court on January 22nd. Patton was also issued citations for violation of the implied consent law and turn signal required.

Adams, a passenger of Patton's vehicle, was found to have a marijuana cigarette in his pocket and a small bag of marijuana was found in his seat. Adams was charged with simple possession of marijuana and his bond was set at $1,500. Adams will appear in court on January 22nd.

51 year old Forrest (Frosty) Byrd was arrested Sunday for leaving the scene of an accident after deputies investigated a one vehicle accident with property damage over $500 on Banks Pisgah Road.

Sheriff Ray says Byrd was driving a 1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse when he lost control and wrecked causing property damage to a fence. Byrd then left the scene. After an investigation, it was discovered that Byrd had gone to a business on Short Mountain Highway and called for a wrecker, but never returned to the accident site. Byrd was later charged with the crime. His bond was set at $2,500 and he will appear in court on January 29th.

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