Man guilty in robbery

Published 10:26 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Suffolk man pleaded guilty to a January robbery in Suffolk Circuit Court on Monday.

George Lee Carroll III, now 54, was charged with the Jan. 3 robbery of the Miller Mart in the 1500 block of Holland Road.

Carroll, then an employee of a nearby Hardee’s restaurant, robbed the gas station about 5:15 a.m. that day. According to a summary of the commonwealth’s evidence presented in court on Monday, the robber entered the store and requested two packs of cigarettes. Once the cigarettes were on the counter, he said, “Put the money in the bag; I have a gun.”

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He received about $90, the cigarettes and a lighter before fleeing the store. Images of him in the store were captured on surveillance cameras and distributed to local media.

Two of his co-workers at Hardee’s saw the images and recognized him, according to the summary. They called in a tip and told police that Carroll, although it was his habit to come to the store at 4 a.m. each day and sleep in the back until his shift began at 7, had left the store that morning around the time of the robbery, then returned a little later. They also saw him smoking that day, which was unusual, and said he was wearing the same clothes as witnesses reported.

Though initial reports were that the robbery displayed a weapon, a store clerk later told prosecutors that he wasn’t sure he could say he saw a gun, defense attorney Jim Grandfield noted in court.

In the surveillance video, it “does not appear he has anything in his hands,” Grandfield said. A charge of use of a firearm will not be prosecuted.

Carroll will be sentenced on April 16.