Suspect in robberies of two Kansas City Family Dollar stores faces 10 felonies

Stock image.
Stock image. File photo

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker announced on Friday that James Jones, 31, of Kansas City, faces a slew of felony charges in connection to accusations that he robbed two Family Dollar store locations multiple times this year and last.

Jones was arrested in the Crossroads Arts District on Wednesday following a police investigation into four robberies or attempted robberies of Family Dollar stores in Kansas City at the 3000 block of Prospect Avenue and 4600 block of East Truman Road.

According to a probable cause statement, a man matching Jones’ description went the Family Dollar store on Prospect the evening of Dec. 15, pulled a silver handgun on a store clerk and demanded cash from the register before fleeing on foot.

About five weeks later on Jan. 24, the same suspect returned to the Family Dollar and robbed the store at gunpoint.

Then on Feb. 2, the same suspect went to a different Family Dollar store on Truman Road and approached an employee standing out front of the business and demanded cash from the register. The employee, who believed the suspect had a handgun in his pocket, refused to go back into the store and the suspect took off.

Half an hour later on Feb. 2, the suspect returned to the Family Dollar on Prospect and brandished a black handgun and demanded cash from the register before leaving on foot.

Then on March 1, the suspect robbed the Family Dollar on Prospect. A police investigation that relied on video surveillance from the stores, data from license plate readers and phone records led them to Jones, who had previously been arrested and charged on suspicion of six robberies in 2014 and is a suspect in several others.

Police obtained a warrant to place a global positioning system device on a Chrysler Jones was observed driving.

Then finally on March 20, the suspect returned to the Prospect Family Dollar and approached the cash register. Court records say employees who recognized him refused to give him anything and he left the store. He went back to a residence at the 3400 block of Askew Avenue and left after changing his clothes. Jones was arrested shortly afterward.

Another search warrant was obtained on the Askew residence and the Chrysler where further evidence in connection to the robberies — guns, latex gloves, backpacks, faces masks — was obtained.

Detectives interviewed Jones, who denied knowing anything about the guns that were found at the Askew residence.

In addition to the suspected robberies in 2014, Jones was convicted of a felony robbery charge in 2006, for which he received an eight-year sentence and a ban from possessing firearms.

An attorney representing Jones was not immediately available for comment. Jones is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 4 before Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Mary Weir.

Steve Vockrodt is an award-winning investigative journalist who has reported in Kansas City since 2005. Areas of reporting interest include business, politics, justice issues and breaking news investigations. Vockrodt grew up in Denver and studied journalism at the University of Kansas.