WILLIAMSON - Although Williamson is not as well known for armed robbery crimes as nearby larger cities in West Virginia such as Huntington and Charleston, a Saturday afternoon incident at a local liquor store took everyone by surprise and proved that small towns are not at all immune to serious crimes.
Tiffany Joy Tesi, 26, of Buffalo Creek Road in Williamson, is said to have entered Dana and Spano’s Carryout located on 1st Avenue in Williamson, armed with a firearm and began waving it around while demanding money from the cashier, Sabrina Barker, who was the lone person in the establishment at the time the crime occurred.
Barker relayed to Williamson Police Lt. G.P. Dotson that she ran to the rear of the store and locked herself inside a storage room. Tesi is then said to have removed a total of $220 from the cash register before exiting the business. Upon arrival, Lt. Dotson, WPD Patrolman J. Marcum and Mingo County Sheriff”s Deputy J. Endicott reviewed the video surveillance tapes and identified the robber. According to the cashier, Tesi had came into the liquor store shortly before entering with the gun, and purchased a soft drink and left.
The defendant was apprehended a short time later on U.S. 119 in the same vehicle she was driving when she committed the robbery. She was still in possession of the handgun and the money that she had stolen. When questioned as to why she robbed the business, she allegedly confessed to the crime, and told police that she had attempted to cash a check at a local bank and was instructed to come back at a later date. Tesi said she badly needed money and while sitting in the parking lot of Dano and Spano’s, got the idea of robbing it, and then proceeded to carry out her plan. The defendant is the mother of three children. If convicted, the female gunman faces a possible prison sentence of ten years behind bars.
Tesi was arraigned on charges of armed robbery and petit larceny before Mingo County Special Magistrate Kim Blair and was remanded to the custody of the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden, where she is currently held on a $100,000 bond. Also assisting in the arrest were members of the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia State Police.