Parkersburg man charged in attempted robbery at Must Be 21

William Joseph Stout

PARKERSBURG — A Parkersburg man was arrested for the Wednesday morning attempted robbery of a Must Be 21 location on Staunton Turnpike.

William Joseph Stout, 39, of 2505 Belmont St., Parkersburg, was arrested and arraigned on a charge of attempted robbery.

The Wood County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched around 6:40 a.m. Wednesday to the Must Be 21 business at 3168 Staunton Turnpike in Parkersburg in reference to a strong arm robbery.

A female employee told Sgt. J.T. Murphy she arrived at work and was walking to the front door when an unknown male suspect approached her from behind.

The suspect knocked her down and demanded she unlock the door so he could go in and get money, Murphy wrote in the criminal complaint. The employee received a laceration to her right arm/elbow.

The suspect demanded the keys and then said “don’t make me do this to you,” Murphy said.

The employee said that because she had previously been robbed she wasn’t going to open and unlock the door, Murphy wrote.

After a couple of minutes, the suspect ran off up the hill after being unable to get the keys from the employee’s purse. She indicated the direction he went to the deputy who searched the immediate area.

The employee provided a description to the deputy of the suspect and what he was wearing. The deputy was able to acquire additional information from a recording of the incident.

Murphy began searching the area after the employee was secured in a safe place.

While traveling westbound on W.Va. 47, Murphy reported seeing a man standing in front of a Dodge Ram truck he had observed earlier as being empty while on his way to the business.

As the deputy approached, he noticed the subject’s pants matched the description given by the victim. The subject began walking east.

The deputy stopped him and asked for identification. The subject gave him a West Virginia ID for a “Joshua Michael McGee.”

“(He) questioned the male subject stating that the photo did not bear his resemblance; the male subject stated the ID was not his, that it was his girlfriend’s brother’s,” Murphy wrote.

The subject then gave the name of William J. Stout.

“(He) asked Stout what he was doing,” Murphy wrote. “(Stout) replied he was headed to get gas as he ran out. Stout stated that he had been with his truck all morning.”

The deputy told him he did not observe anyone with the vehicle earlier. Stout claimed he was lying across the seat.

Stout was identified through “In-Synch,” Murphy said. He was placed in handcuffs and detained.

Clothing described as being worn by the suspect was recovered from the truck and the business just off the roadway behind brush, Murphy said.

Other officers photographed a shoe imprint in the soil near clothes recovered at the scene.

“The image of the shoe imprint near (other clothes at the scene) appeared to be the same tread pattern as what was being worn by Stout,” Murphy wrote.

Stout was a former employee at this Must Be 21 business. He had pleaded guilty for a previous robbery at this business in 2010 around the same time of day, the sheriff’s department report said.

“Stout then denied any association with the incident,” Murphy wrote.

Stout was arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court and held without bond.


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