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Robbery suspect charged

Cumberland resident Robert Johnson has been charged with armed robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after attempting to rob Bear Creek Market on Trents Mill Road.

Robert Johnson

According to the Cumberland Sheriff’s Department, dispatchers received a call at 8 a.m. Dec. 26 regarding an armed robbery at Bear Creek Market. A woman dialed 911 claiming that the suspect had pulled out a gun and forced her to go to the backroom of the store. The suspect had taken an unknown amount of money from the register and fled the scene in a silver vehicle.

With the aid of Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, deputies were able to track Johnson by “pinging” the location of his cellphone. Over several days, the phone pinged in various states including New Jersey and New York.

Deputies and state police troopers received a tip that Johnson may have been hiding out at his mother’s home in Cumberland, but were unable to locate him at the residence. Johnson’s phone was then pinged again and was traced to a location in Richmond.

A deputy with the sheriff’s department spotted Johnson over the weekend in Cumberland and gave chase, but was unable to capture him at the time.

The sheriff’s office cited that Johnson was finally located Dec. 31 at a Cumberland residence, where he was taken into custody without incident. He is currently being held at Piedmont Regional Jail without bond.