An armed robbery suspect in Elliston that led police on a chase Tuesday morning crashed into two Virginia State Police vehicles during the pursuit.
Justin Swanson, 29, of Callands, is charged with attempted robbery. He’s being held without bond. More charges are pending.
The incident began around 8 a.m. at the Elliston Food Mart on Roanoke Road. Swanson entered the store and tried to open the register, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. During the confusion the clerk left the store and called the sheriff’s office.
Witnesses told police that Swanson left the store in a 2014 Honda Odyssey. Virginia State Police spotted the car headed north on Interstate 81. When troopers tried to stop the car Swanson drove through a crossover near mile marker 135 and turned south on I-81, according to state police.
Deputies stopped Swanson and arrested him near mile marker 126 around 8:30 a.m. He hit two Virginia State Police vehicles during the pursuit. The cruisers were damaged, but no one was hurt.
The arrest on I-81 caused a traffic period for a brief time Tuesday morning.
Investigators learned that the Honda Odyssey was reported stolen out of Roanoke. Swanson was also wanted on fraud charges out of Danville.
Here is the news release from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office about the incident:
At 08:00 a.m. this morning our office received a report of an attempted robbery at the Elliston Food Mart on Roanoke Road in Elliston, VA. The suspect entered the business and attempted to force open the cash register. During the confusion the store clerk was able to exit the building and call the Sheriff's Office.
Witnesses at the scene provided deputies with a description of the vehicle involved and a BOL for a silver Honda Odyssey was immediately disseminated to all surrounding agencies. Virginia State Police spotted the vehicle driving north on I-81 and when they attempted to stop the vehicle he drove through a crossover near mile marker 135 and turned south on I-81. During the pursuit the suspect struck two Virginia State Police vehicles, the cars sustained damage but there were no serious injuries.
Virginia State Troopers working with Deputies from our office were able to stop and arrest the suspect near mile marker 126 (south bound) at 8:30 a.m. He was the only person in the vehicle.
During the follow up investigation it was determined that the silver 2014 Honda Odyssey was reported stolen out of Roanoke City. The suspect was also wanted on charges of Fraud out of Danville, VA.
Justin William Swanson, 29 years old, of Callands, VA was arrested and has been charged with Attempted Robbery and is being held in the Montgomery County Jail
with no bond. The investigation is on-going and more charges are possible pending the outcome of the investigation. No further information is available at this time.
A police chase that slowed traffic on Interstate 81 South in Montgomery County on Tuesday morning was preceded by an attempted robbery in Elliston.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office got a call around 8 a.m. Tuesday about an attempted robbery at the Elliston Food Mart, which is on Roanoke Road. Witnesses at the store gave deputies a description of the vehicle.
A “be on the lookout” was issued for the suspect. Virginia State Police spotted the vehicle on Interstate 81 South, and arrested the suspect around 8:30 a.m. near mile marker 126.
Check back soon for more updates.
Traffic is backed up on Interstate 81 South in Montgomery County following a police chase.
The south right lane and right shoulder are closed at mile marker 126.7.
Traffic is backed up at least two miles.
Check back soon for more updates.