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Homeless girl, 16, arrested in West Side gas station robbery

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston police arrested a homeless teenager Thursday and charged her with robbing a West Side gas station Wednesday night.

Sgt. Eric Hodges of the Charleston Police Department said a black female wearing a hooded sweatshirt walked into the Exxon One Stop at the corner of Tennessee Avenue and Lee Street at about 10:30 p.m., got a soda and walked up to the checkout counter. When she got there, she pulled out a gun and demanded money.

Hodges said she then fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Charleston Police Sgt. Bobby Eggleton said a 16-year-old girl was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery in connection with the incident. He said the juvenile admitted to police that she and a 17-year-old boy she had met on the street decided to hold up the One Stop.

Eggleton said the girl told police where the gun was. They were looking for the weapon this afternoon.

Eggleton said the girl, from Charleston, has been living on the street.

"It was kind of a sad story," he said. "Every once in a while you run into one of these [cases] where you feel sorry for them. She doesn't have a support group."

Because of the nature of the crime, Eggleton said the girl could be tried as an adult. "I wouldn't recommend that in this one because of the circumstances," he said.

Eggleton said he hopes intervention might help the youth turn her life around.

"It's up to the prosecutors [how to proceed with the case]," he said. "But whatever we can do to make sure the system works and she gets some help, is what we should do with this."

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.


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