Crime & Courts

Former employee robbed Pizza Hut — after robbing 3 other area stores, SC cops say

Kevin Jackson
Kevin Jackson Greenwood County Sheriff's Office

A South Carolina man charged with robbing the Pizza Hut restaurant he formerly worked at is also accused in several other armed robberies in the area, according to authorities.

Greenwood police responded to a strong-arm robbery Saturday morning at the Pizza Hut on Edgefield Street, according to a police incident report. The victim, a 39-year-old woman, told police she had been maced by the robbery suspect.

The victim heard someone knocking at the door before the restaurant opened, according to the report. The man, who was wearing a black hoodie and a Pizza Hut baseball hat, told her he worked at another store and was there to pick up supplies.

After phoning the manager, who said it was OK to open the door, the victim let the man in and he sprayed her with pepper spray, police said. Even after the victim retreated back into the store, the suspect followed her and kept spraying her.

The robber forced the victim to the cash register area and instructed her on how to open the register which, police noted in the report, “is a complex method and only a person that has worked for Pizza Hut would know what buttons to press to make the register open.”

The suspect also had information about opening the safe that only a Pizza Hut employee would know, police said. He left with the cash drawer containing an undisclosed amount of money.

The police report identified the suspect as 26-year-old Kevin McKenzie Jackson, of Greenwood.

That afternoon, state troopers worked a crash in Greenwood County in which Jackson was identified as the driver, according to a release from the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office. Troopers said Jackson had a controlled substance and a gun that was reported stolen in Charleston.

Jackson was jailed, and investigators obtained a search warrant for his home, where they found a gray Kia Soul that was stolen in Greenwood County and used in the armed robberies of three convenience stores in the county in February and March, according to the release.

In addition to the charges of strong-arm robbery, kidnapping and first-degree assault and battery for the Pizza Hut robbery, Jackson also faces three counts of armed robbery, three counts of possession of a weapon during a violent crime, possession of stolen goods valued at $10,000 or more, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and possession of marijuana, according to Greenville County online court records.

Each of the armed robbery charges carries a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison, under South Carolina law. Strong-arm robbery carries up to 15 years in prison. Possession of a weapon during a violent crime carries up to five years for each charge. First-degree assault and battery carries up to 10 years.