KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A suspect arrested Monday afternoon just a short time after police believe he robbed a North Knoxville gas station will be charged in at least four other robberies or attempted robberies.
Andre Dewayne Coffer, 25, and his wife, Lacy Nicole Emory, 25, were both taken into custody.
Police were called to Weigel’s, 1700 Merchant Drive, just after noon Monday. A witness said a blue minivan had dropped off a man, later identified as Coffer, who then covered his face with a mask and went into the business. Using a knife, police say he robbed the store of cash and cigarettes. He then ran off.
“Prior to the robbery occurring, we were able to locate the van that the suspect got out of and inside that van was the suspect’s wife. Also in the van were three small children,” Darrell DeBusk, spokesman for the Knoxville Police Department, said.
Officers were able to detain the female driver of the minivan, identified later as Emory, before Coffer could return. Three small children were also inside the vehicle and a special crimes investigator was called.
Several minutes later, an officer saw Coffer get into a Mercury Grand Marquis on Bradshaw Garden. Police were able to stop it on Sherman Street. Coffer was in the back seat and was taken in for questioning. The cash and cigarettes were in the vehicle’s floorboard.
Both suspects face four counts for aggravated robbery (one in Knoxville and three in Knox County). Investigators believe they are connected to the June 18 robbery of Marathon on Cedar Lane, the June 30 robbery of Breadbox on Washington Pike, the June 30 attempted robbery of Weigel’s on Merchant Drive and the July 8 robbery of Delta Express on Central Avenue Pike.
“They’re facing numerous charges of robbery and attempted robbery and there should be additional charges coming involving the children as well,” DeBusk said.
They are being held at the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility. Coffer is being held on a combined $250,000 bond and Emory on a combined $170,000 bond.