A Franklin County grand jury has issued indictments against three men who are suspects in the robbery of a Washington gas station/convenience store.
The indictments were handed up at the grand jury’s last meeting.
Jacob M. Sanor, 18, Warrenton, and Cornelius R. Balch, 20, are charged in the indictments with first-degree armed robbery, armed criminal action and misdemeanor stealing in the Sept. 17 holdup at the Fas-Trip BP station at Highway 47 and Fifth Street.
Beau D. Ford, 21, Warrenton, is charged in an indictment with second-degree burglary, a felony, and misdemeanor stealing in a break-in Sunday, Sept. 1, at the West End Station on West Fifth Street.
All three suspects are being held in the Franklin County Jail in those cases.
The same charges were issued against the suspects previously in felony warrants. Being indicted by the grand jury means their cases will not go before an associate circuit judge for preliminary hearings. Instead they are transferred directly to circuit court for trial.
Washington police applied for robbery charges against Ford in both the Fas-Trip holdup and the Sept. 14 armed robbery of the Fischer Phillip 66 station at Fifth and Elm streets but those were not presented to the grand jury, according to Detective Sgt. Steve Sitzes.
Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks said his office presented what he called the “strongest cases,” to the grand jury but he did not rule out filing additional charges in the future.
“We could come back later and look at it again,” Parks told The Missourian this week.
The grand jury indictments, by law, are sealed until they are signed by the presiding circuit judge and served on the suspects.
Authorities allege that Sanor and Balch entered the Fas-Trip station shortly before midnight Sept. 17 and Sanor, wielding a kitchen knife, demanded cash from a clerk while Balch stood nearby. Both were wearing bandanas to hide their faces and hooded sweatshirts.
After being given an undisclosed amount of money the two fled on foot toward the Mercy Hospital parking lot, according to witness statements.
Police believe they left in a vehicle that was parked nearby.
Detectives allege that Ford was waiting in the parked vehicle.
Sitzes said following the Fas-Trip robbery, the suspects drove to Warren County and about an hour later wrecked the vehicle on Route TT, east of Dutzow.
Information obtained from that wreck, investigated by the Missouri Highway Patrol, led detectives here to start looking at possible suspects, Sitzes said. Several days after the second holdup, police questioned Sanor and another man, and later obtained a search warrant for an apartment where some of the suspects had been staying.
Police said Ford and Sanor were living in the same apartment at the time of the West End Station burglary in which liquor and cigarettes were reported stolen. A large rock was used to break the glass front door and enter the station, according to reports.
Ford has felony charges pending against him in Lincoln County for allegedly tampering with a motor vehicle and resisting arrest, according to online court records.