Woman arrested in robbery of Kingsport gas station

Rain Smith • Jul 12, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Holding up a gas station with a curling iron may seem unconventional.

But considering the suspect waited until she was inside the store to pull down her ski mask, allowing the clerk to recognize her face and provide a name to police, perhaps it's par for the course.

Such an early Thursday morning scenario has prompted aggravated robbery charges against Alexis Yates, 28, of 479 Virgil Avenue, Kingsport. She was located just over a block from the scene of the crime, the Sunoco at 1205 Lynn Garden Drive, and booked into the city jail.

Kingsport police report Yates entered the store shortly after 2 a.m., wearing a gray hoodie and orange ski mask, "over the top of her head." It wasn't until Yates was spotted by the clerk that she pulled the ski mask over her face, according to police, and walked towards the register.

The clerk, who would later identify the suspect by first name, said Yates pointed an item which was concealed inside her hoodie's pocket, acting as if it were a weapon. She allegedly demanded money, which was handed over, then left the store.

Approximately eight minutes later Yates was located jogging through a nearby parking lot. She was stopped by KPD Officer Andrea Mullins and positively identified as the suspect.

A pat down located a wad of cash in Yates' sweatpants. Meanwhile a curling iron, believed to be the "weapon" Yates had in her hoodie pocket, was found in bushes outside the Sunoco.

Yates was arrested and booked into the city jail, charged with aggravated robbery.

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