Burglary Suspect May Be Store Robber

WHEELING – Police say Michael Kandis, who was already charged with burglarizing a home in rural Ohio County, called a detective from jail Tuesday and confessed to robbing three city businesses at gunpoint last month.

Ohio County Magistrate Joe Roxby arraigned Kandis Wednesday on three counts of armed robbery. The 29-year-old Wheeling resident remained lodged in the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville in lieu of $200,000 bond as of late Wednesday.

According to a police report, Kandis called a police detective from jail Tuesday and “admitted he was responsible for the armed robbery” of the Elm Grove Carry Out that occurred on Nov. 16. “Kandis admitted that he entered the store and told the clerk to give him all of the money.”

In the Nov. 16 robbery, Kandis allegedly showed the handle of what was later determined to be a water gun, telling the clerk to “Do it or I’ll blow your … brains out.” Police say he made off with around $1,200 in cash and coins.

The report continues, stating that “Kandis also admitted that he had committed the armed robberies on Nov. 5 at the Little Caesar’s Pizza and Nov. 25 at the Gumby’s.”

During the most recent incident, Kandis allegedly waited for employees to unlock the door for an unsuspecting customer before pushing the customer to the ground, drawing a gun and demanding the employees hand over the store’s cash.

There is a 4-inch height difference in the descriptions of the suspect given to police by victims of two of the robberies.

The report does not specify whether Kandis confessed to burglarizing a rural home in March. Ohio County sheriff’s deputies said they believe Kandis and another man broke into that home while the residents were attending a funeral and the two stole jewelry, electronics and a safe. Deputies arrested him for that crime last week, and they say he may be charged in more home invasions.

A preliminary hearing in the burglary case is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Friday before Magistrate Patty Murphy. A preliminary hearing addressing the counts of armed robbery had not been scheduled as of Wednesday.