Police chase, apprehend suspect in 3 area Kroger robberies

Suspect demanded cash from cashier using a note, report says.

A Middletown man who allegedly tried to rob a Lemon Twp. Kroger store Sunday and is a suspect in two other incidents was chased down by police and taken into custody.

Leonardo A. Cornwall III, 18, of the 1400 block of Yankee Road, is in Middletown Jail charged with aggravated robbery, fleeing and eluding, receiving stolen property and reckless operation after an incident started at Kroger on Oxford State Road.

Cornwall was arraigned Monday in Middletown Municipal Court where bond was set at $250,000 with a 10 percent rule.

Police say Cornwall is the person who passed a note to a cashier at the Oxford State Road store about 1:05 p.m., stating, “Put all the money in the bag or I’ll shoot you. I have a gun,” according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office report and court documents.

The note was passed after a suspect asked a bagger to get some peanut butter he had forgotten. The cashier said she did not know what to do so she gave him back the note and walked away.

The robber was seen fleeing the store wearing all black, a mask and blue gloves. He did not get any money, according to the report.

The suspect was seen leaving the parking lot in a white sedan going east on Oxford State Road.

Minutes later, a Middletown police officer spotted a similar car in the city that was reported stolen and like one used in other area Kroger robberies. The officer tried to make a traffic stop at Waite and Sherman streets, but the driver refused to stop and took off on University Boulevard.

After a chase with speeds more than 80 mph, the driver attempted to make a turn onto Breiel Boulevard but crashed in the median, according to police and court complaints.

The driver, identified as Cornwall, fled on foot toward a nearby high school and was chased by officers and a K-9 called Bear, who “subdued” him, according to police.

Sheriff’s deputies searched the reportedly stolen car Cornwall was driving and found a facial covering and notes similar to the one the cashier described. After treatment for a dog bite, he was booked into jail.

Middletown Police Maj. Eric Crank said Cornwall also is a suspect in a robbery at Kroger on Towne Boulevard on Saturday in which $489 in cash and tape and a trash bag were stolen, and another robbery attempt at Kroger on Princeton-Glendale Road in West Chester Twp. about noon Sunday.

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