Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:33PM - 458 Views

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Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

When Portsmouth police officer Sgt. Jason Hedrick chased down a robbery suspect Friday, he may have also solved two more robberies in Columbus. Justin Mullins, 28, and his wife, Jessica Mullins, 23, both of 348 Old Village Rd., in Columbus were taken into custody minutes after they reportedly robbed the Gay Street Kroger store pharmacy.

Portsmouth Police responded to a call at the pharmacy and were told by Kroger employees that a white male approached the window and handed an employee a note demanding prescription drugs and cash from the pharmacy. The note threatened that harm would come to the employees if they did not comply with the demand. After receiving the prescription drugs and cash, the suspect fled the store.

Hedrick, who was off duty at the time, responded with on duty officers and spotted a suspect matching the description of the robber, running westbound across Chillicothe Street from the direction of the Kroger store. The suspect was observed getting into a dark colored sedan and the vehicle attempted to leave the area westbound on Eighth Street. Officers executed a traffic stop at the intersection of Eighth and Washington streets and took the couple into custody.

Columbus authorities were scheduled to be be in Portsmouth Monday to investigate whether the two who were arrested were the same people who pulled off similar robberies at Kroger stores in Columbus and the surrounding area. Portsmouth Police said it is believed both Justin and Jessica Mullins may be involved in some of those robberies as well.

On Dec. 21, 2012, at around 8:30 p.m., a suspect entered the Kroger store at 5800 West Broad St. in southwest Columbus, and passed a note to the pharmacist and verbally demanded money from the register. Police said the suspect fled on foot and got into the passenger side of a dark colored vehicle.

Portsmouth Police have been in communication with Crime Stoppers about the incidents.

Aggravated robbery is a felony of the first degree and carries a penalty of up to 11 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com.

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