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UPDATE: Arrest Made In People's News Robbery

By: Mollie Lair, WTAP News Email
By: Mollie Lair, WTAP News Email

UPDATE: 3/12/13/ 12:45 PM

Parkersburg Police arrest a man in connection with the People's News Robbery from early February, and they're charging an employee for getting in on the action.

Tuesday morning, police arrested Brian Wright. He's charged with felony grand larceny.

Police say he conspired with People's News employee Benjamin Stephan in staging the armed robbery.

Stephan originally told police it was an unknown male who pointed a gun at him, shoved him to the floor and hit him in the face. Police say it was Wright who left the store with 22 thousand dollars in cash. Stephen then called 911 to report the fake robbery.

Police say the pair split the money.

They're expecting Stephan to turn himself in soon on the charge of falsely reporting an emergency.

Wright was placed on a 100 thousand dollar bond which he did not post.

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UPDATE: 2/1/2013 6:07 PM

It takes nerve to knock over a place where there's normally tons of people playing the lottery...picking up their favorite magazine and snacks. But that's what happened at a popular spot on Emerson Avenue.

Police responded at about 3:30 Friday afternoon to reports of an armed robbery at Peoples News on Emerson Avenue.

According to initial reports the robber came in through an unlocked back door. Two male employees were working at the time.

The suspect assaulted one employee behind the counter. He was treated for minor injuries on scene.

The suspect got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

According to witness testimony the robber was carrying a silver handgun.

"Our first officers arrived on scene. The report was a male approached the rear of the business. Placed an employee on the ground who was near that rear door. Collected the money from the rear of the building, physically assaulted the employee and fled the area on foot," says Sergeant Greg Collins with the Parkersburg Police Department.

The suspect is described as a male wearing all black clothing.

Investigators think the suspect acted alone. They're currently following up on a lead about a possible getaway car. Parkersburg Police detectives and K-9 units are still searching for the suspect.

WTAP News spoke with an employee at the Green Kiwi, a frozen yogurt shop, just two storefronts down from where the robbery happened.

The employee says she didn't realize anything was wrong until police started showing up. People in the shop were visibly shaken by the news of a robbery so near by.

Peoples News is closed right now as the investigation continues.

Stay tuned to WTAP News and right here on thenewscenter.tv for all the latest information.


Parkersburg Police are looking for a suspect with a weapon they say robbed the People's News on Emerson Ave. Friday afternoon.

It all happened around 3:30 this afternoon.

Not much is known at this time, but police say a man wearing all black & a black ski mask robbed the business before leaving the seen on foot.

They say he did have a weapon, but they are not releasing what kind at this time.

No injuries have been reported.

Canines are searching the area.

WTAP-TV has a reporter on the scene & will have more details as they become available.


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