Middletown gas station manager planned, staged robbery with thieves, police say

Manager of Middletown gas station planned, staged robbery, police say

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A Middletown man allegedly planned and staged an armed robbery of the Shell gas station he manages.

Middletown police say Dhaval Patel, 27, conspired with 18-year-old Nicholas Wallace, 19-year old Zachary Ritchie and a 17-year-old from Hamilton to stage the robbery, which took place Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 12:54 a.m.

The gas station is located at 2411 N. Verity Parkway.

Surveillance video allegedly shows Patel standing behind the gas station counter during the robbery, while the 17-year-old holds the gun and Ritchie stands behind him. Patel was reportedly in contact with the robbers before and after the incident.

Middletown police released photos and descriptions of the suspects the day following the robbery.

“Evidence suggests that Mr. Patel had assured the robbers that the cameras were off, and they later demanded more money for committing the robbery when the photos were released,” Middletown Police Department Maj. Walter Walter Scott Reeve said.

Patel has been charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, tampering with evidence and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Wallace, Ritchie and the minor were each charged with aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence.

Middletown police say this is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information is urged to call Det. Winters with the Middletown Police Department at 513.425.7786.

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