Four Suspects Charged In Moundsville Staged Robbery


LATEST UPDATE 5:45 p.m.:

Nearly a week ago to the day, Smith Mart employee Betty Sells called Moundsville Police saying she was robbed at gunpoint.

But today, Betty, Alice, Angel, and Dallas Sells all turned themselves in saying they made it all up.

Father and husband, Jerry Sells, says that his family is very sorry.

“My girls have learned. My wife has learned. This is, you know, an unfortunate thing. They are so disappointed in themselves and what has happened. I mean, it’s hard,” Sells said.

Marshall County Magistrate Tom Wood charged the four women with conspiracy and grand larceny.

Betty, the employee, was also charged with falsely reporting an emergency incident.

Detective Sergeant Don DeWitt said it’s all thanks to a team effort.

“Everything’s on camera these days. The camera from the volunteer fire department in Moundsville was vital. Also, the work of the West Virginia State Police and locating and interviewing a couple of these people was as also very vital and I’d like to thank them for that,” DeWitt said.

Officials confirm that Betty and her mother are each facing a bond of $20,000

Her sisters, Alice and Dallas, are facing $15,000 each.

Stay with 7News for further developments.


LATEST UPDATE 2:54 p.m.:

The four suspects in the staged Smith Mart robbery have turned themselves in to police custody.

Betty Sells, a Smith Mart employee, along with her mother and two sisters, have been charged with conspiracy and grand larceny.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Betty, Dallas, Alice, and Angel Sells on Friday.

Betty was also charged with falsely reporting an emergency incident.

Moundsville Police confirm that the suspects turned themselves in a little after 12:30 p.m.

Stay with 7News as we continue to update this story.


UPDATE 4:06 p.m.:

Moundsville police have released that they have four suspects involved in the alleged robbery of the Smith Mart gas station.

No names have been released of the suspects involved, but police do believe that this was an inside job.

No arrests have been made at this time, but police say that three of the four suspects are cooperating.

The alleged victim is now one of the four suspects.

According to police, the investigation took a twist when the alleged victim’s story did not match the surveillance tapes obtained.

A total of $6500 in cash was recovered by police. Suspects told police that several checks were allegedly destroyed.

UPDATE 3:13 p.m.:

Moundsville Police Chief Tom Mitchell has reported that the robbery at Smith Mart did not occur.

Police say that the public should not be alarmed.

A search warrant is expected to be served soon.

There are currently multiple suspects in this case.

The gas station was reported to be robbed at gun point around noon on Tuesday.

Stay with 7News as we continue to gather information as it’s released.

UPDATE 12:39 p.m.:

Moundsville police say they are currently searching for a suspect that is considered to be armed and dangerous after the robbery of Smith Mart on 1st Street.

The suspect is said to be a light-skinned, possibly black, heavy-set male, approximately 5’9″ and more than 200 pounds.

If you have any information or tips, please call Moundsville police or 911.

UPDATE 12:24 p.m.:

Fostoria Avenue is currently closed while police continue to search for the suspect of an armed robbery.


Moundsville police are currently searching the area after an armed robbery at Smith Mart on 1st Street.

Police Chief Tom Mitchell reports that a pregnant clerk was outside of the Smith Mart on 1st Street with several deposit bags, where she was robbed at gunpoint.

The woman told police that a man came around the corner and pointed the gun at her and asked for the money. The woman handed over the bags, and the suspect fled on foot.

The suspect has been described as a heavy-set male with green eyes, wearing a black hoodie.

Police say the clerk was hysterical, but not injured.

If you have any information that could help police, please call (304) 845-1611

Stay with 7News as this story develops.

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