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October 3, 2012

Raider One Stop bandit unmasked

Officers arrest suspect one week after armed robbery

WHITLEY CITY —  A Stearns man was arrested Sunday afternoon for the September 23 armed robbery of Raider One Stop.

    Estle Lee “Boomer” Phillips Jr., 37, was arrested just after 4:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon — a week after the all-night convenience store on Wilburn Ross Highway was robbed. He was lodged in the McCreary County Detention Center for one count of first-degree robbery as well as a fugitive warrant from Scott County, TN, and a warrant for receiving stolen property (over $500).

    The robbery occurred around 10:30 p.m. on September 23. Lead investigator McCreary County Deputy Sheriff Jerry Meadows was searching for a lone white male who had walked into Raider One Stop wearing a ski mask, brandishing a black handgun and demanding money. No one was injured during the incident, and the suspect fled on foot along Cabin Creek Road toward the county road garage. He was also investigating the possible involvement of a small maroon car which was reportedly seen driving back and forth on Cabin Creek Road not long before the robbery took place.

    As the investigation unfolded, MCSO Detective David Sampson received an anonymous tip that the vehicle in question was most likely a red 2001 Ford Focus. That vehicle was traced to Phillips’ girlfriend, who is not suspected at this time of being involved in the crime. Det. Sampson said that Phillips had been driving the car that Sunday and returned it to his girlfriend some time after 11:30 p.m.

    With that information along with an identifying cut on the suspect’s left arm, Det. Sampson secured a warrant for Phillips’ arrest. Considered armed and dangerous, Phillips was able to elude authorities until this past Sunday afternoon, when Constable Freddie Clark located him riding in a vehicle which he stopped at the intersection of West KY 92 and Wagon Ridge Road in Smithtown.

    With Dep. Meadows arriving to assist, the officers took Phillips into custody without incident. He still had with him the weapon alleged to have been used in the robbery, which turned out to be a BB gun.

    Det. Sampson told The Record that Phillips was cooperative when he was interviewed by officers Sunday afternoon. The case will be presented to a McCreary County grand jury.

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