Ex Lufkin dollar store worker arrested in connection to robbery

Ex Lufkin dollar store worker arrested in connection to robbery

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Authorities have arrested the second suspect in the armed robbery of a Dollar General store in Lufkin.

Kenneth Earl Bener, 28, of Lufkin allegedly help plan and execute an armed robbery with Moses Ernest McCleland, 24, of California, at the Dollar General located at 2102 Southwood Drive in Lufkin on Jan 23.

According to the arrest affidavit, Lufkin Police officers responded to the Dollar General store on Southwood Drive on Jan 23 in reference to an armed robbery that had just occurred. While the officers were on their way to the scene, they were told that the suspect had fled the scene.

When the LPD officers arrived on the scene, they talked to two witnesses that had been standing outside the store. Both men said they saw black man exit the store with a silver pistol in his hand and described him as wearing a black hoodie and white gloves.

The witnesses said the suspect walked around the northeast corner of the building. A short time later, a silver or gray "Honda Civic-type" car sped north on Southwood Drive, the affidavit stated.

Inside, the officers talked to a Dollar General employee. The woman had blood on her left and wrist along with an injury to the back of her head.

Later, the officers talked to Bener, who was also a store employee, and told them that he had been walking the store when he heard a commotion toward the front of the store. He told the officers that he first thought his co-worker was playing a trick on him, but he quickly realized that the store was being robbed.

Further investigation revealed that Bener helped McCleland set up the robbery and had communicated with him by phone on several occasions before the robbery occurred, the affidavit stated.

McCleland was arrested on a traffic charge on Feb. 12. The LPD detectives requested and obtained arrest warrants on McCleland and Bener on March 23.

McCleland accepted a 20 year prison sentence for a Corgin Dollar store robbery, and will have a plea hearing on January 28 for the Lufkin robbery.

Bener is being held in the Angelina County Jail on a $75,000 bond.

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