WILMINGTON — A local man has been arrested and charged with the aggravated robbery that occurred Monday night at Hidden Carryout on West Main Street in which a 63-year-old clerk was struck in the head several times and knocked unconscious, police said.
Police responded to the business around 9 p.m. Monday in reference to a panic alarm. On Tuesday WPD Sgt. Ron Fithen told the News Journal an unknown male suspect entered the business, assaulted the clerk and took an undisclosed amount of money.
Wilmington police investigated the incident, identified a suspect, and at 9 a.m. Thursday the Wilmington Police-Clinton County Sheriff’s Joint SWAT team served a search warrant and arrested Jason Reeder, 42, at his home, an apartment in the 0-99 block of South Mulberry Street, Wilmington.
Reeder is a “career criminal” who has been “in and out of prison”, according to Police Chief Ron Cravens, who added that nearby residents, upon seeing that Reeder was arrested, told police they were glad to see him off the streets.
WPD Det. Scott Baker and Det. Codey Juillerat told the News Journal Thursday that the assault was a violent one such as “we don’t often see.”
They said the suspect, wearing a mask, entered Hidden Carryout Monday night, demanded money, struck the clerk multiple times, grabbed cash from the register along with Ohio Lottery tickets, and exited the store within one minute.
Det. Juillerat contacted the Ohio Lottery Commission and, with Juillerat and Baker working with them and with other stores in Wilmington and viewing surveillance video, determined that the suspect had attempted to cash winning lottery tickets around town within two hours of the robbery.
Detectives presented the evidence to Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney Rick Moyer, and police obtained a search warrant was obtained for Reeder’s apartment.
On Thursday morning the Wilmington Police-Clinton County Sheriff’s Joint SWAT team served the warrant and arrested Reeder without incident. Police said they seized evidence including lottery tickets as well as bloody clothing that was sent to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for analysis.
When serving the warrant, detectives said they also saw a large amount of illegal drugs and paraphernalia.
Baker said the search was stopped, and an additional warrant was obtained, after which police recovered suspected methamphetamine and possibly fentanyl, a scale, plastic bags and other paraphernalia, “being prepared for distribution.”
Reeder has been charged with aggravated robbery, a second-degree felony, with additional charges pending. He is currently in the Clinton County Jail.
The clerk was treated at Clinton Memorial Hospital and was home by Tuesday, his head still wrapped and his body sore, police said.