On Aug. 11, at around 11:15 p.m., the Weaverville Police Department located and apprehended an armed robbery suspect that Woodfin Police Department was in search of after an attempted armed robbery that occurred at the Ingles Grocery Store at 499 Weaverville Highway on Thursday night at around 10:30 p.m. Woodfin police officers were dispatched to an armed robbery where a white male suspect attempted to grab cash out of the cash register while displaying a handgun in his waistband. A citizen witnessed the suspect leaving the Ingles grocery store in Woodfin and identified him as Bryan Smeltz.
Corporal Jonathan Ray and Officer Nick Shea of the Weaverville Police Department were both familiar with the suspect. Officer Nick Shea observed the suspect and the vehicle parked in front of the Ingles in Weaverville. Confirming with Ingles management that everyone was safe inside the Weaverville location, Shea set up surveillance and later initiated a vehicle stop on the suspect vehicle at the Roadrunner Food Mart on Weaver Boulevard. Shea along with Corporal Ray and Sergeant Mace took Smeltz into custody for the armed robbery that occurred in Woodfin .
The pistol believed to have been used was located under the driver’s seat of the vehicle. Woodfin police responded to Weaverville and took custody of the suspect Bryan Smeltz, of Weaverville, passengers Brittany Griffey, 24, of Swannanoa and Chelsea Stahl, 22, of Marshall. Smeltz was later charged by Woodfin Police with attempted Armed Robbery.
“I’m very proud of our officers and their swift and safe arrest of the suspect from Woodfin. I am certain that, had we not made the arrest, a crime similar to what just occurred in our neighboring town would have happened here in our community,” stated Chief Stephens.