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Rite Aid robbery leads to wreck

Staff Reports • Oct 4, 2017 at 3:21 PM

A police chase that involved a suspect accused of robbing a Rite Aid on Tuesday morning ended in a wreck on Highway 109 at Hickory Ridge Road when the suspect ran a red light and his vehicle was hit.

Lebanon police got a call at about 10:30 a.m. about a robbery at Rite Aid on West Main Street in Lebanon.

After getting a description of the suspect and vehicle, Officer Andy Byrnes spotted the suspect on Hickory Ridge Road.

Byrnes chased the suspect until he ran a red light at Highway 109 and was hit by another vehicle.

The robbery suspect was taken into custody and identified as Ryan Neal Thomas, 32, of Lebanon.

Paramedics took Thomas to Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon for treatment for the possible injuries he received in the crash.

In Thomas’ vehicle, officers found a mask he apparently wore during the robbery, along with a gun and a backpack full of pain medication, which he allegedly stole from Rite Aid.

Thomas did not use the gun during the robbery, officers said after an investigation. Interviews showed he walked up to the counter, threw the backpack on the counter and demanded they fill it with pain medications, while wearing the mask, according to police. The employees feared he would harm them or the customers in the store, so they complied, police said.

Thomas was charged with robbery, evading arrest and reckless endangerment for allegedly trying to hit an officer with his vehicle during the pursuit.

He remained in the hospital Wednesday receiving treatm

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