Makeshift flamethrower used in attempted robbery in Caldwell County

There was shock from longtime Ross and Company convenience store customers outside after hearing what happened.
The manager says the man had a lighter and ignited a can of de-icer, burning several pieces of...
The manager says the man had a lighter and ignited a can of de-icer, burning several pieces of equipment.(Source: Ross and Company convenience store)
Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 6:59 AM EST
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LENOIR, N.C. (WBTV) Deputies say a man used a makeshift flame thrower while trying to rob a Lenoir convenience store.

There was shock from longtime Ross and Company convenience store customers outside after hearing what happened.

It doesn’t even compare to emotions felt inside from the people who faced the flames.

Lenoir police say 30-year-old Logan Ryan Jones walked into the Ross and Company convenience store on Harper Avenue a little after 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. He headed to the back and grabbed a can of de-icer off the store shelves, then made his way to the register.

“He handed a note to the clerk saying please give me the money or give me the money or I’ll burn the store down,” owner Johnathon Brooks said.

When the clerk relented, the suspect went to make good on his threat. The manager says he had a lighter and ignited the de-icer, burning several pieces of equipment.

“He burnt the printer; he burnt the receipt printer, he burnt some cables into the register, but the girls weren’t hurt and that was the important thing,” Brooks said.

The suspect fired off several bursts from the canister and apparently burned himself on the hand before scurrying out the front door, which workers quickly locked behind him. Ashley Bankson was behind the counter when it all happened.

“He tried to burn us behind the counter, and I told him I couldn’t open it,” Bankson said.

Jones wasn’t a free man for long. Police quickly rounded him up and charged him with attempted robbery and a felony count of burning a building.

Related: Police: After cashier refuses to be robbed, man sets fire near register at convenience store in Lenoir

His bond was set at $250,000. In court via video screen, he appeared before a judge for his first appearance where he seemed to balk at what he was facing, saying out loud, “those are some serious charges.”

The store is closed for a couple of days to give employees time to process and heal from an experience no one saw coming.

“Good little day with the kiddo. I’m okay,” Bankson said Thursday.

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