Samuel Harding, Lashai Savage and Keemont Oates

Samuel Harding, Lashai Savage and Keemont Oates (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police said officers arrested four people involved in a number of different area robberies, one of whom is accused of robbing three stores in the same day. 

Investigators said of the 13 armed business robberies involved, 12 happened within three days of each other. Three of the robberies occurred in Shively, but the majority took place in the Louisville area.

"As you can imagine, this surge in armed robberies terrorized the local community and the hardworking employees of these businesses," LMPD Lt. Mindy Vance said. "So the robbery unit worked tirelessly with local, state and federal agencies to progress these cases to a successful resolution."

According to court documents, 48-year-old Samuel Harding walked into the Platinum Food Mart on West Broadway, near South 13th Street, just before 2 p.m. Oct. 16 and robbed the store while carrying an pistol. 

Just after 5 p.m. the same day, police said he robbed the Family Dollar on Bank Street, near North 22nd Street, pointing the pistol at the clerk and demanding cash.

The same day, just before 10 p.m., he allegedly robbed the Walgreens on West Broadway, near South 35th Street.

He was arrested by police two days later, on Oct. 17, when police said he was spotted in a stolen vehicle driven by 25-year-old Lashai Savage.

According to court documents, the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Jennings County, Indiana, a few days earlier, and had been involved in two business robberies, including one of the Family Dollar on Bank Street.

"I was going down to the west end the canvas marked for surveillance video and speak with any witnesses," LMPD Detective Matt Crouch said. "And that's what I noticed the vehicle that was used in some of the holdups at 26th and Broadway at Dino's Food Mart." 

Police said they tried to stop the vehicle, but Savage sped off, leading police on a lengthy pursuit before crashing into another vehicle at the intersection of Dixie Highway and West Kentucky Street.

Both Harding and Savage were arrested. Harding is charged with three counts of first-degree robbery and one count of receipt of stolen property. Savage is charged with one count of complicity to first-degree robbery, first-degree fleeing or evading police and receipt of stolen property.

Police said they also recently arrested a third suspect in connection with a couple of unrelated business robberies. 

Keemont Oates, 31, is charged with two counts of first-degree robbery. Police said that on Oct. 10, he and an accomplice walked into the Jordan's Food Mart on West Hill Street, near South 12th Street, armed with a rifle. They demanded and received business cash, according to court documents.

Police said the next day, Oates and an accomplice walked into the Lucky Star Petro on Bardstown Road, near Breckinridge Lane, and robbed the gas station.

Police arrested him a couple of days later on Oct. 18. He's charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and possession of a controlled substance.

When he was arrested, he was found with a handgun, cash and small baggies of narcotics, according to court documents.

Police said a fourth suspect, 55-year-old Rodney Offutt, was arrested after a search warrant was executed. During the search, two guns connected to some of the holdups were found.

"A lot of times, we can't share what's going on, especially early in the investigation," said Maj. Matt Meagher with the Major Crimes Division. "But rest assured this unit here has been working behind the scenes, sometimes going without sleep, sometimes going without a break to eat. You know, they were on this. And they did a lot of good work." 

In total, authorities say the follow locations in Louisville and Shively were robbed:

  • Dollar General, 2701 Dixie Highway
  • Walgreens, 3980 Dixie Highway
  • Dollar General, 7427 Third Street Road
  • Family Dollar, 2124 Bank St.
  • Dollar General, 1201 Dixie Highway
  • Dollar General, 1631 West Market St.
  • Family Dollar, 3022 Portland Avenue
  • Family Dollar, 3901 West Market St.
  • Family Dollar, 3901 West Market St.

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