Police searching for suspect in "crime spree" stretching from Knoxville to Wytheville; man robbed Kingsport store at gunpoint

Rain Smith • Jul 8, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Southwest Virginia authorities are hunting for a man believed to have gone on a “12- to 24-hour crime spree” that spread from Knoxville to Wytheville — including the robbery of a Kingsport convenience store at gunpoint.

The suspect’s vehicle — a truck reported stolen from outside of Knoxville — was spotted by law enforcement south of Wytheville about 4 a.m. on Wednesday. When police attempted to initiate a stop, the suspect pulled over at the side of the road and fled on foot.

The suspect has yet to be caught, and police were urging residents of Wythe County to secure their cars and report anything suspicious.

A Roadrunner market at 220 Carolina Pottery Drive in Kingsport was robbed Wednesday about 1:50 a.m. The clerk told Kingsport police that a man with a bandanna over his face entered the store with semiautomatic pistols in each hand.

The robber made the employee take him to the office and then the cash registers. Kingsport police said the robber took several lottery tickets and an undisclosed amount of cash. He then left the scene in a white, early 2000 model Chevrolet pickup.

Sgt. Michael Conroy of the Virginia State Police said shortly thereafter the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office worked a breaking and entering at O’Dell’s Market off Interstate 81’s Exit 45. That was followed by an armed robbery of the Holiday Chevron, located off Exit 47 in Marion, around 3:30 a.m.

After the armed robbery a BOLO (Be On the Lookout) was issued for the suspect’s white pickup, Conroy said. About 4 a.m. a Virginia state trooper and Wytheville police officer spotted the vehicle northbound on Route 11, about two miles south of Wytheville.

“When (police) turned on the pickup truck the driver, who was alone, pulled over to the side and took off on foot,” Conroy said.

Police used dogs, ATVs from the game department and a VSP helicopter in their search.

Conroy later identified a possible suspect as Jason Bradley Davis, 29. Davis’ last known address was in Radford.

Conroy said Davis is wanted by the Salem Police Department on robbery and bomb threat charges stemming from the Monday robbery of a BB&T bank.

Conroy said the VSP believes Davis may be linked to the armed robbery and breaking and entering in Smyth County Wednesday.

Anyone with information about Davis is asked to call police.

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