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Newport Independent - Newport, AR
  • Suspect's voice leads to arrest

  • A Newport woman is behind bars after allegedly robbing a local gas station attendant at knife point.
    Yalanda Smith, 39, of Newport is accused of robbing Exxon Double B's, 1600 Malcolm.
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  • According to Lt. Patrick Weatherford, Newport Police Department, at around 7:30 a.m. Sunday, December 1, Smith entered the store wearing a mask, dark clothing and carrying a backpack. The store clerk told police Smith jumped over the counter armed with a long fixed blade knife demanding money. The worker handed over the cash and according to Weatherford Smith then demanded the clerk's car keys. The clerk then told police she was able to flee from the store and flag down a passer-by to call 911. When police arrived, the clerk was able to identity Smith based on her voice as Smith was a former employee of the store. Officers began to canvass the area and found two witnesses who told police they were approached by Smith a few minutes after the robbery and her a ride to Harmony Homes Apartments. The witnesses also told police that while they didn't know Smith by name, they both recognized her as begin a former employee of Exxon. Officers searched the area around Harmony Homes when Weatherford says he located person matching the description of Smith standing on the porch of one of the apartments. Weatherford, along with Sgt. Adam Bradley, identified the woman as Smith and took her into custody without incident. After securing a search warrant for the apartment, police entered the apartment and found clothing, a knife and a backpack matching the description given by the store clerk. They were also able to locate coins and cash which matched the approximate amount reported stolen. Smith was taken to the Jackson County Detention Center and was expected to appear in district court Monday, December 2. She was expected to be charged with felony Aggravated Robbery and Theft of Property. According to police, Smith had previously been convicted of at least nine felonies and is currently on parole. Due to her status as a habitual offender, the Aggravated Robbery carries a possible prison sentence of 10 years to life.
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