A Martinsville man is in custody today after deputies said he robbed at gunpoint a man from whom he was trying to buy weapons.
Jaylan Daquon Price, 21, of 302 Sellers St. in Martinsville was arrested on Saturday after a SWAT team was called to his house and he tried to sneak away through the basement, a Henry County Sheriff’s Office release said.
A man who advertised on the internet that he had two firearms for sale agreed to meet a potential buyer in the parking lot of the Ridgeway Drive-In, 821 Main St. in Ridgeway, on Saturday morning.
But the potential buyer arrived with a weapon in hand, the release said, and took the two weapons, which the seller reported to the Martinsville-Henry County Emergency 911 Center at approximately 11:54 a.m.
Deputies learned that the potential buyer had fled on foot and later was picked up in a vehicle. He was described as a black male, about 6 feet 2, with a tattoo on his neck and wearing a black hoodie and jeans, the release said.
Investigators honed in on a suspect and obtained a search warrant for 302 Sellers St., where Price lives. But when officers from the Martinsville Police Department and Henry County Sheriff’s Office attempted to serve the warrant at the house, Price refused to come out.
SWAT units from the MPD and the HCSO then executed the search warrant and entered the house.
That’s when deputies said Price tried to run out the basement door and was captured without incident, the release said.
Investigators in their search found one of the stolen firearms, along with the gun allegedly used during the robbery.
Price has been charged with robbery and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony and is being held without bond in the Henry County Jail.
The case remains under investigation, and the sheriff’s office asks that anyone with information call 276-638-8751 or Crimestoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463). Crimestoppers program offers rewards up to $2500 for information related to crime.
In its release the sheriff’s office issued a reminder to the public that anyone conducting online transactions should be careful about where they meet potential buyers. There are safe zones in front of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and also between the Martinsville Police Department and Martinsville City Sheriff’s Office. Video cameras record these safe exchange zones for protection.