Police: Lawrence County resident held up Family Dollar Store in Seymour

A 33-year-old Lawrence County man has been charged with the July 2016 robbery of a store on Seymour’s west side.

Jason Lee Burkhart of Bedford was arrested on a Jackson Circuit Court warrant for robbery while armed with a deadly weapon and theft Thursday morning.

That arrest by Jackson County Officer Dustin Steward occurred at Burkhart’s workplace in Seymour.

According to police reports, the incident that led to the charges against Burkhart began on July 2, 2016, when a man wearing a hat, mask and gloves, dressed in blue jeans and a dark-colored, long-sleeved shirt entered the Family Dollar Store at 780 W. Tipton St.

That man pointed a black semiautomatic handgun at the clerk and told her two times that she had five seconds and began counting down, using the fingers of one hand, according to police reports. The woman emptied the cash drawer into a plastic shopping bag.

The man took the bag and left, fleeing north over the railroad tracks behind the store, police said. Two other employees and two customers also in the store at the time were not injured.

Several of the witnesses told police they thought the man was joking when he entered the store and believed the gun wasn’t real.

Detectives later found a hat, blue cloth mask with two eye holes cut out and a pair of gloves believed to have been used in the robbery near the railroad tracks, according to the probable cause affidavit. Those items were sent to the Indiana State Police Lab for testing.

On March 23, police obtained a DNA sample from Burkhart before his court appearance in an unrelated case at the Monroe County Judicial Center. He’s also a suspect in two robberies in the Bloomington area.

On June 16, the state police lab notified Seymour police DNA samples from the glove matched Burkhart’s DNA sample. On June 27, Jackson Circuit Court issued a warrant for Burkhart’s arrest.

Burkhart was booked into the Jackson County Jail at 11:28 a.m. Thursday and was being held without bond pending his initial court appearance.

The robbery charge is a Level 3 felony, punishable by three to 16 years in prison while the theft charge is a Level 6 felony charge, punishable by six months to two and a half years in prison, if convicted.