News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 18, 2013

Police arrest woman in connection with noontime holdup

Boyfriend is suspect in robbery

TERRE HAUTE — A woman who police allege was an accomplice in a robbery of a Terre Haute convenience store on Wednesday has been arrested.

Stacie Kaye Wood, 24, of Terre Haute, appeared in Vigo Superior Court 3 on Thursday, but police are still looking for her boyfriend, who they say is the suspect in the hold-up.

Detective Keith Mowbray testified that the incident occurred around noon when the manager of the Casey’s General Store at Third and Hulman streets was taking money for a bank deposit to her vehicle. The manager said a black male stepped out of a vehicle parked next to hers and blocked her so she could not get away. The suspect reportedly told the manager to give up the money or he would kill her. The manager complied, then went back into the store and called police.

The manager told police that she thought it was odd that Wood, who is an employee of the store, had come into the business on her day off to “check her schedule.” The manager also identified Wood’s boyfriend, Charlie Johnson, as the suspect in the robbery.

When police talked to Wood later in the day, she was not cooperative, Mowbray said. And when police contacted Johnson, he did not show up for an interview about the incident. Police later received a search warrant for Wood’s cell phone and say they found messages between her and Johnson concerning the robbery, Mowbray said.

Johnson was convicted in 2003 of robbery, the detective said, and also has a criminal history in Louisiana. Mowbray said the previous robbery conviction for Johnson had a similar scenario to Wednesday’s incident -- conspiring with a girlfriend employee to commit a robbery.

Judge David Bolk found probable cause for Wood’s arrest on a preliminary charge of robbery. He set her bail at $50,000 with no 10 percent allowed.

During the hearing, a disturbance erupted within the audience and a woman stormed out of the courtroom.

The judge had the woman apprehended by a jail officer, who escorted her into the courtroom and placed her on the witness stand. The woman identified herself as Kimberly Wheeler, 19, of First Avenue in Terre Haute.

Bolk entered a direct contempt action, stating that Wheeler disrupted the court by laughing and causing a commotion during the hearing. Wheeler admitted to her actions, and said she was upset because Wood is her sister.

The judge ordered Wheeler held in the Vigo County Jail for two days.

 

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