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Gas station robbed, man arrested

ST. CLAIRSVILLE ­– A suspect was arrested Tuesday afternoon following the early-morning armed robbery of the A+ Fuel Mart on Belmont County Road 214.

“I wasn’t here. My employee, she was working earlier this morning and a person came and pointed a gun at her and demanded money, so she put the money in his bag … ,” owner Naji Abboud said. “She was shaking … and I took her home. After that, the cops came here and the sheriff’s department. They were all over and did an excellent job. They caught the guy.”

Abboud said he was thankful there was no injury or loss of life during the robbery and commended law enforcement.

“Excellent work. I thank the department. … They were extremely professional and down to the point. They did an excellent job,” Abboud said. “You never know what people can do. It’s unreal.”

Belmont County sheriff’s Chief Detective Ryan Allar said deputies were dispatched to the fuel mart and searched the area. They located the suspected weapon close to the scene and some clothing. The weapon “was rather haphazardly hidden,” Allar said.

That afternoon Arthur Wolfe, 27, of Canton, Ohio, was arrested at the Days Inn nearby.

Allar said the gas station employee had turned over about $500 to the robber.

“The male fled in the direction of the Days Inn,” Allar said, adding there is no indication that Wolfe used a vehicle to flee. “We were able to follow investigative leads that led us to the suspect. … Knock on this hotel room door and we were able to determine that the subject was the person who had done this act. He also had a lot of drugs packaged for sale on his person.

“(The employee) did a real good job of remembering details. It was a big help to us in investigation,” Allar said.

Wolfe is being held in the Belmont County Jail on charges of first-degree felony aggravated robbery, third-degree felony tampering with evidence, fifth-degree felony possession of methamphetamine and fourth- and fifth-degree felony trafficking in drugs and possession of drugs including OxyContin. His bond is $40,750.

Allar said Wolfe is also on bond for drugs and weapons charges out of Stark County.

Allar said he did not know why Wolfe might have robbed the fuel mart, other than for some immediate money.

“This is still a fresh case. We’re still investigating several factors,” the detective said. “It’s possible it was just to buy more drugs. … That’s not clear at this moment.”

Allar also complimented the fast response of law enforcement officers.

“A lot of people showed up to work this and were able to do a lot of complicated things very quickly and very professionally.”

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