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Arrests made after men found in South Richmond store’s ceiling: ‘Don’t move or I shoot’

Posted at 6:04 PM, Mar 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-15 18:31:27-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Police said two men were arrested after a break-in at a South Richmond convenience store early Thursday morning.

Officials with Richmond Police said 43-year-old Kevin J. Cochran and 32-year-old Whitney Wellington Smith, both of Philadelphia, were charged with breaking and entering. Additionally, Cochran faces a charge of stealing over $500.

Kevin J. Cochran and Whitney Wellington Smith

Kevin J. Cochran and Whitney Wellington Smith

David, the owner of the B&S Food Mart on East Broad Rock Road, said his security alarm went off around 4 a.m. Thursday.

When David and his family arrived at the store to investigate, the store appeared empty. However, the store's ATM had been cut open and emptied.

"Somebody cut the roof. Came in the store and took the money from the ATM," David explained.

Two hours later, while they were cleaning up, they heard a noise coming from the ceiling.

Sure enough, David said, there was someone hiding up there.

"He run away. We follow him," David explained. "I hit him with a baseball bat in his face and we took him down."

Police arrested that person and then cleared the scene.

Second suspect found in ceiling.

Second suspect found in ceiling.

When the owner of the store was recounting that story, another person was found in the ceiling.

"We got another one inside! Out. Out. Call the police!" was heard coming from inside the store. "Don't move or I shoot your ass."

But, later as David explained the crime to a CBS 6 crew, another ceiling dweller emerged.

As customers rushed out of the store, David went inside to confront the suspected thief.

Richmond Police later said the second suspect was found covered by insulation in the ceiling. He was apprehended after a secondary search of the store, officials added.

"Everything is fine," David said once the excitement died down. "What he did was stupid."

Cochran and Smith are being held without bond. Their next hearing is scheduled for April 11.

This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips here.

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