Whitesburg KY

Man held in Jenkins robbery

Friday and charged with demanding money from a Jenkins store less than 10 minutes after the crime was reported to police.

Jenkins Police Officer Jim Stephens said he was notified at 12:20 p.m. on Nov. 13 that money was taken from Family Dollar Store, located at 9342 Highway 805, by a man armed with a utility knife. Store employees described the robber as a tall man wearing a blue suit jacket, lighter blue sweatpants and a dark blue bandanna.

Stephens said when he heard the description he knew exactly who the store employees were talking about because he had conducted a “field interview” with Kenny Lewis, 32,

Stephens said such interviews are conducted when a police officer “has that gut feeling that something isn’t right.”

Stephens said he saw Lewis earlier in the day walking behind the Jenkins Post Office and thought something was suspicious so he asked him who he was and where he was going.

Stephens said he was given permission to search Lewis for weapons, but didn’t find any.

Then after 12 p.m. Lewis walked into Family Dollar Store with a utility knife that Stephens said Lewis had purchased from that same store a few months before.

“He said, ‘Let me have all of your money,’ and the clerk said, ‘Are you serious?’ Then he showed the knife and said, ‘Give it to me fast and I want big bills,'” said Stephens.

While Stephens was on his way to Family Dollar Store he saw Lewis was walking near Jenkins Lake. Stephens said he got out of his police cruiser and asked Lewis if he had the knife. Stephens said Lewis pulled the knife out of his pocket and said Lewis told him he didn’t have the knife on him when he spoke with Stephens earlier in the day. Stephens said Lewis told him he had gone back to Golden Years Rest Home where he is a resident and picked up his knife.

Lewis was arrested near the Jenkins City Park at 12:27 p.m.

“He knew right from wrong,” said Stephens. Stephens took Lewis by the store where he was identified as the one who had just taken $290.

Lewis gave back the $290 that was taken from the store and Stephens said no one was hurt during the robbery.

“He said he is tired of being broke,” said Stephens. “That’s why he did it. He knew robbing the store was wrong.” Lewis, who was charged with first-degree robbery, is being held in the Letcher County Jail where bond is set at $50,000 cash.

A preliminary hearing for Lewis is set for 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 25 in Letcher District Court.

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