A man suspected by police of robbing a southeast Columbus convenience store was arrested Friday after ditching a stolen vehicle near Noblitt Park and fleeing on foot.
Matthew B. McKay, 35, who has no permanent address, was arrested on charges of robbery, a Class C felony; possession of a stolen vehicle, a Class D felony; and theft, a Class D felony. The theft charge is regarding stolen lottery tickets.
Video surveillance images and audio from the Circle K at 262 N. Gladstone Ave., as well as a description provided by a store employee, helped police identify McKay, Columbus Police Department spokesman Lt. Matt Myers said.
Columbus police previously said that a white male entered the store shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday, wearing a shoulder-length black wig, gray and black shorts and a jacket. The suspect kept his hand in his jacket pocket as if he might have a pistol and ordered the female clerk to give him all the money in the cash register, police said. The suspect then fled on foot.
Images from the store’s video surveillance system and the employee’s description led police to believe they were searching for McKay, Myers said.
At 3:15 p.m. Friday, Patrolman Toby Combest was in the area of 16th and Pearl streets when he saw two men in a yard, one of whom he believed to match the description of McKay. As Combest circled his patrol car around, the two men got into a truck and drove west onto 16th Street, north on Franklin Street and then back onto Washington Street. The truck turned east on 17th Street and then south onto Lawton Avenue, where the men abandoned the truck and fled east toward Washington Street,
Police learned that the gray Chevy S-10 pickup had been reported stolen in Indianapolis, Myers said.
Multiple police officers and a K-9 police dog searched for the men, who had split up and discarded their shirts and hats in the 1600 blocks of Washington and Franklin streets, in an attempt to prevent police from easily identifying them,
Police found and apprehended one of the truck’s occupants, who had been wearing a red shirt, at 16th and Franklin streets. Aaron R. Collins, 33, 924 Ninth St., Columbus, was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, a Class D felony, Myers said.
About 30 minutes later, Combest and an Indiana State Police trooper found and arrested McKay, who had been wearing a shirt with white and dark stripes, in the 600 block of 15th Street, Myers said.
Bartholomew County Prosecutor Bill Nash will determine what charges, if any, to file.
Myers added that during an interview after his arrest, McKay told police he was on probation.
McKay was sentenced in May 2009 in Johnson County to seven years in prison for robbing a Steak ’n Shake restaurant in Greenwood. In May 2008, he was sentenced in Bartholomew County to two years in prison for dealing cocaine, according to the Indiana Department of Correction.