Updated Thu, Aug 8, 2013 8:18 am
A McArthur woman was found guilty for her involvement in three gas stations robberies last summer following a two-day trial in Pickaway County Common Pleas Court last week.
Brittany N. Collins, 23, was found guilty of two counts of aggravated robbery, one count of theft, one count of grand theft, one count of complicity to robbery and one count of complicity to theft in relation to a string of robberies in the Tarlton area that occurred in July 2012 — the first at the 56 Mini Mart on July 22, the second at the Tarlton IGA Express on July 24 and the third, involving a still unidentified male suspect, at the 56 Mini Mart on July 26.
Evidence in two-day trial revealed Collins went to the 56 Mini Mart on July 22 and asked for the price of cigarettes and then politely asked the cashier to do her a favor. At that point, she told the clerk to keep her hands where she could see them or she would shoot her, and the clerk should give her all the money out of the cash register. Collins then told the clerk to go to the bathroom and count to 100 or she would shoot her.
The 56 Mini Mart clerk testified that she was suspicious when Collins entered the store because it was about 100 degrees outside and she was wearing a black long-sleeved t-shirt and black ball cap. She noticed that the subject’s teeth were yellow and overlapped in the front with “fangs,” and also that the subject chewed her fingernails. She said she had thought she had previously seen Collins in the store and identified her on the stand as the robber.
Surveillance video from a neighboring business also showed a silver Chevrolet Cobalt driving back and forth past the mini mart numerous times before the robbery.
A Tarlton IGA Express clerk testified that Collins entered the store around 10 p.m., July 24, dressed in black and wearing sunglasses and a ball cap. The clerk said Collins told him that she was drunk and hungover then showed him a gun in her waistband. She ordered him and another clerk to give her the money from the registers and then go to the bathroom and wait five minutes so she could leave.
Then, on July 26, Collins went back to the 56 Mini Mart and purchased beer and cigarettes. The clerk testified, when Collins left, she saw her get into the passenger’s side of a silver Chevrolet Cobalt with front-end damage which left the mini mart heading east toward Laurelville on St. Rt. 56.
The cashier said she went outside to make a phone call when, about two minutes after the vehicle left the mini mart, an unknown male approached her on foot and told her to hang up the phone and go back into the store. The male demanded all the money and then ordered the cashier into the bathroom.
The male has never been identified.
Witnesses testifying for Collins said she could not be responsible for the July 22 robbery because she was attending a family picnic that day.
The jury took about 90 minutes to deliberate.
Following the verdict, Judge P. Randall Knece ordered Collins to jail without bond pending a pre-sentence investigation and report.