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Officers capture robbery suspect

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Chase ends with car crash on US 150 after pawn shop holdup

By Randy Patrick

Law enforcement officers caught a fleeing suspect wanted for a pawn shop robbery following a multi-vehicle crash on Springfield Road Tuesday afternoon.

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Bardstown Police Chief Kim Kraeszig said Kevin Purdom, 32, of Springfield, was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery.

She said the Washington County Sheriff’s Office will likely bring additional charges because someone was hurt in a vehicle accident he caused while fleeing.

Detective Chris Smith of the Bardstown Police Department said soon after the incident that a white male entered Bourbon City Pawn at 117 Banjo St. with a .22-cal. rifle that he was trying to pawn. An employee didn’t offer him what he wanted for it, so he turned the rifle on her and robbed her.

“He asked for money, she gave him money, and he took off,” Smith said.

The man said the gun was loaded, Smith said, but no one was hurt.

The store where the incident occurred is just off Bloomfield Road near its intersection with John Rowan Boulevard.

The suspect, a white male, fled with an undisclosed amount of cash in a gray Jeep Grand Cherokee. A vehicle fitting that description was later involved in a collision in a curve on Springfield Road (U.S. 150) near Fredericktown just inside Washington County.

The driver exited the vehicle and fled on foot, and was caught a short time later.

At least two other vehicles were involved in the accident, and traffic on U.S. 150 was backed up for at least a mile around 5:25 p.m.

Around 5 p.m., an officer’s voice came across the police radio: “We got him.”

The suspect was taken to the Bardstown Police station for questioning and then incarcerated in the Nelson County Jail.

“It’s a good day when we can get a criminal off the streets,” Kraeszig said.

Nelson County Sheriff’s Office deputies assisted city police in the investigation and pursuit.

Smith said there is surveillance video of the suspect.

A press release issued Wednesday afternoon by Capt. Joe Seelye of the Bardstown Police included new details about the incident. He said that when the suspect pointed the gun at the employee, he demanded all of her money and then he slammed the shop’s work phone on the floor, smashing it so she couldn’t call the police. A short time later, Washington County notified Bardstown Police that a vehicle matching the description had been involved in an accident.

Washington County Sheriff Jerry Pinkston said Wednesday that the incident was “under investigation,” and charges had not yet been filed, but possible charges being considered were wanton endangerment, assault and driving under the influence. He said the commonwealth’s attorney would present witnesses’ statements and other evidence to a grand jury, which won’t meet until June 20.

On May 3 of this year, Purdom was fined $163 and sentenced to 90 days for receiving stolen property, but the sentence was suspended. In September 2011, he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, fined $868 and sentenced to 60 days.

Purdom was issued a $100,000 bond for the first-degree robbery charge in Nelson County.

Editor’s note: Kentucky Editor Forrest Berkshire also contributed information for this story.