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Robber sprays clerk, steals money

A man used pepper spray on a clerk and robbed a Bee Branch store early Sunday morning.

About 3:45 a.m. May 26, Van Buren County sheriff’s deputies responded to a robbery call from the Bee Branch Mini Mart at 9528 Highway 65.

The clerk told deputies that the suspect entered the store twice. The first time the suspect came in, he made a purchase and returned to his vehicle, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

The suspect then went back into the store and purchased a soft drink. When the clerk opened the register to give change for the purchase the suspect sprayed pepper spray in the clerk’s face, grabbed a small amount of cash from the register and ran out the door to his vehicle, the news release stated.

The suspect is a white male, approximately 25 years old. He was wearing a dark blue baseball cap with no visible logo, a gray, short-sleeved shirt with a “Clearwater” logo on the front, and dark pants, the sheriff’s office said.

The vehicle used was a smaller type with a short trunk. It was red with sport-style aluminum wheels.

Investigators believe there was a passenger in the vehicle along with the suspect. This crime is considered robbery, which is a Class B felony. Under Arkansas law, both people can be charged with this crime.

The Van Buren County sheriff’s office is offering a $1,000 cash reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for this robbery.

In a separate report from the sheriff’s office, a Clinton man faces several felony charges after a traffic stop late Monday night.

Deputies made the stop after the call of a disturbance involving the vehicle the suspect was driving. Deputies discovered that the driver was a convicted felon and was in possession of firearms, according to the news release.

Damascus Police Department was called to assist with a K9 search of the vehicle. The search revealed two firearms and a white powdery substance believed to be methamphetamine, the report said.

Gabriel J. Kipfer, 40, is currently being held at the Van Buren County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

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