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Chilhowie man arrested in Washington County armed robbery

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Eric Wayne Mercer - mug

Eric Wayne Mercer, 40

An armed robbery reported Thursday night at a Bristol, Virginia, area gas station resulted in the arrest of a Chilhowie man.

Eric Wayne Mercer, 40, faces charges of armed robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, petit larceny and brandishing of a firearm.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said the robbery at the Shell gas station off Interstate 81’s Exit 10 on Lee Highway happened at about 10 p.m. A man entered the business and brandished a handgun at the clerk, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

The man demanded money and then fled with an unknown amount of cash, the release states. The clerk was able to describe the vehicle and the man to authorities.

Deputies located the vehicle along northbound I-81. A deputy conducted a traffic stop and found a handgun in the vehicle, the release states. Mercer was arrested without incident and is being held without bail at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail.

The WCSO said Mercer has a criminal history of shoplifting, obtaining money by false pretenses and violation of probation.

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