Pair arrested in gas station robberies

By Dean Wright - [email protected]

Christina McKinster

Christina McKinster

Kyle McKinster

GALLIPOLIS — A local husband and wife were arrested by Gallia County sheriff’s deputies, accused of robbing two convenience stores on Saturday.

According to Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning, Kyle McKinster, 34, and Christina McKinster, 29, both of Gallipolis, are suspected of having taken part in a robbery at the Marathon convenience store and gas station on Jackson Pike, and a Par Mar store in the Centenary area. Both were in jail on prior warrants the week before their arrest, according to the sheriff.

“They’ve had law enforcement contact recently,” Browning said. “We were requested to go to where (the McKinsters) were staying at the time, a week (before the convenience store arrests) because (Gallia County) Children’s Services had concern over a baby. We went there with Children’s Services and ran them both through the computer system. They had warrants on them so we took them into custody. A family member took possession of the baby.”

Browning said on Saturday, deputies received a call from the Marathon gas station around noon. McKinster had allegedly entered the store and threatened the clerk with a knife before removing an unknown amount of cash from the register. Deputies put out a “be on the lookout” order for the suspected thieves’ vehicle. Deputies were in the process of investigating the case.

“Their name came on the radar fairly quickly because of descriptions and some of the things (investigators) were able to find out,” Browning said. “In the meantime, the (suspects) went over to the Par Mar in Centenary and do the almost exact same thing a few hours later. They were located later on that night in the Kanauga area. The vehicle was located. Our detective tells me there is a substantial amount of both video and physical evidence that ties them back to both of those crimes.”

According to the sheriff, charges have been filed against the McKinsters. Kyle has charges filed for aggravated robbery and Christina has charges filed for complicity in the same robberies. Charges have been filed with the Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office.

“It just scared them (the store clerks) to death. It was very traumatic for them,” Browning said. “It’s really sad for them. It caused a lot of distress for the employees and it’s a shame.”

The sheriff asked the public if any further information is known about the robberies or alleged activities of the McKinsters, to contact the sheriff’s office. He thanked members of the public for contacting the office’s tip line.

Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.

Christina McKinster McKinster

Kyle McKinster McKinster

By Dean Wright

[email protected]