STAFFORD — Three New York men have been arrested for an armed robbery that took place Thursday at Cigarettes Unlimited on U.S. 17 in Stafford.
Ariel Peisahovish, 25, of Staten Island, N.Y., Vyacheslav Elentulch, 24, of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Dmitry Khavkin, 26, of Brooklyn, N.Y. were each charged with two counts of robber, two counts of the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and one count of abduction.
Just before 8 a.m., the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a robbery. The caller, an individual in a suite next to Cigarettes Unlimited, said that three white men had robbed Cigarettes Unlimited at gunpoint and fled in a white van with New York license plates. The caller reportedly heard the clerk yelling from the cigarettes store, and was able to obtain a license plate number as the suspects left.
The New York men also secured the clerk to a chair with heavy tape, locked her in the store and threw the keys outside the store, according to police. Then men were in the store for more than 30 minutes loading boxes of tobacco into the van they were driving.
Stafford deputies Chris Armitage and Josh Truslow stopped the van at mile-marker 150 along Interstate 95. Cigarette cartons valued in total at $50,000 were in the vehicle, along with a fully loaded 40-caliber handgun and a fully-loaded pistol grip 12-guage shotgun. The three men were taken into custody.
“This is just another example of citizens working hand in hand with the sheriff’s office to apprehend dangerous criminals,” said Stafford Sheriff Charles Jett. “Because of the witness’s willingness to get involved and the ability of the deputies to anticipate the actions of these criminals, the deputies were able to make a quick apprehension.”
The Cigarettes Unlimited clerk was taken to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg as a precautionary measure. She was treated and released.