The Times West Virginian

November 28, 2013

Arrest made in connection with last weekend’s armed robbery

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — An arrest has been made in connection with an armed robbery last weekend in White Hall.

White Hall Police Chief Geno Guerrieri said John S. Banish Jr., 18, of West Milford, was arrested Tuesday, Nov. 26, in connection with the armed robbery at the Little General Convenience Store in White Hall.

“We arrested (Banish) in West Milford just outside of Lost Creek at his girlfriend’s house,” Guerrieri said.

The incident happened just after 3 p.m. Sunday.

“The subject pulled into the lot and sat in front for about 2 1/2 minutes,” Guerrieri said. “He left the lot and went down the road. He came back and parked his vehicle in front of the door.”

Guerrieri said Banish entered the store with a black pistol, “possibly a Glock,” and demanded money from the clerk. Guerrieri said Banish stole approximately $97.

Helping in the arrest along with White Hall Police was Deputy Kevin Alkire of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, West Virginia State Police and the Greater Harrison Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force.

Banish was taken to Harrison County Magistrate Court, and his bond was set at $100,000. He is being held at the North Central Regional Jail.

Guerrieri said in 2012 around this time of year, the White Hall Police Department saw an increase in crimes.

“Around this time it gets kind of busy,” he said. “A lot of people are in need of money.”

Guerrieri said with the holidays approaching, people tend to resort to shoplifting or stealing money. He said during high-volume shopping days, police will be making sure people stay safe.

“People need to be safe when they go shopping even in the parking lots,” Guerrieri said. “We’ll be in the parking lots making sure people are safe because people are desperate and they’ll do whatever to get Christmas gifts.”

Debra Minor Wilson contributed to this article.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.