A bomb threat was called into Walmart, located at 976 Commonwealth Blvd., Martinsville, on May 16, at approximately 2:34 p.m.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office Explosives Detection Canine, along with canines from the Virginia State Police, Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, and the Virginia Tech Police Department conducted a systematic search of the property. Nothing suspicious was located.
Through the course of the investigation, authorities learned that Keegan Blaise Ashbrook and Ricky Lee Stout traveled to Walmart together and entered the store.
At approximately 2:25 p.m., Wal-Mart staff detained Ashbrook, allegedly for shoplifting. Moments after that, Walmart received the bomb threat, according to a release form the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities alleged that evidence was recovered indicating the bomb threat was called in by Stout. It appears the bomb threat may have been called into Walmart as an attempt to aid Ashbrook with evading arrest, authorities alleged.
Stout, 36, of Glen Meadow Court, Rocky Mount, was arrested on May 18, on a charge of threatening to bomb a building. He is currently held in the Franklin County Jail on a $3,500 secured bond.
Ashbrook, 18, of Frontage Road., Roanoke, was arrested on May 16, and charged with shoplifting and possession of a concealed weapon. He was released on a $1,500 secured bond.
The Henry County Department of Public Safety and local volunteer fire and rescue units were on scene as a precaution. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Walmart officials worked together to ensure the safety of the customers and employees.
Anyone having information pertaining to this incident is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at (276) 638-8751 or the Crimestoppers Program at 63-CRIME (632-7463). The Crimestoppers Program offers rewards of up to $2,500 for information related to crime. The nature of the crime and the substance of the information determine the amount of reward paid.