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Ohio man indicted by Horry County grand jury on charges related to carjacking

A 30-year-old Ohio man who is suspected in a July carjacking and robbery was indicted by an Horry County grand jury, according to court records.

Robert Michael Barnes of Boardman, Ohio, was indicted on charges of failure to stop for a blue light and possession of a stolen vehicle related to the July 26 incidents, according to the indictments released this week.

Barnes remains jailed at J. Reuben Long Detention Center on $83,500 bond, according to jail records. He also is wanted in his hometown on two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of kidnapping, and two counts of auto theft, according to Boardman police officials.

Police arrested Barnes after he had eluded officers for several hours in the woods along International Drive following the incidents that began in North Myrtle Beach about 11 a.m. July 26.

A woman told police she was at the gas pump at the Tiger Mart on Second Avenue North and U.S. 17 in North Myrtle Beach when a man, who pulled up in a van, engaged her in conversation.

The woman after she finished pumping her gas and got back inside her car, the man came over, yanked her out of the vehicle and took her car, she told police. The man left the van at the gas station and police later learned it had been reported stolen from Ohio.

Later that day, police said a man, Barnes is suspected, entered the CVS Pharmacy at 38th Avenue North and U.S. 17 Bypass in Myrtle Beach and went to the pharmacy where he walked through the employee door, removed scissors from a box and held them at the neck of a 24-year-old woman while he demanded bottles of OxyContin.

It was the woman's first day at work, and she told police she initially thought the incident was a joke, according to the report. The employee said she didn't know where the drugs were kept and the man pulled her to the prescription aisles and began a countdown for the pills.

Another employee gave him two bottles of OxyContin and he asked her where the needles were kept, according to the report.

The woman pointed to the shelf and she said the man took some before he pulled the hostage with him toward the front door.

During the incident, he yelled at customers that they should "not be a hero" before he released the hostage at the door and ran to a vehicle that had been stolen during a carjacking in North Myrtle Beach.

An Horry County police officer tried to stop the vehicle, a 2011 Toyota Avalon for speeding along Robert Grissom Parkway in Myrtle Beach, and officers learned it was the vehicle reported stolen and seen at the CVS robbery.

The car continued onto International Drive and because the road was not safe, the pursuit was called off, police said. The Avalon was later found close to S.C. 90 along International Drive near Ocean Bay Preserve, but the driver had fled into the woods.

Horry County police used bloodhounds to search for Barnes, but did not find him until someone spotted him walking in the 4000 block of S.C. 90 and called police.

The incidents in Ohio occurred within several hours of each other on July 22 when a man held a store clerk hostage at a Circle K and stole cash, cigarettes and the clerk's vehicle, said Sgt. Glen Riddle with the Boardman Police Department.

The robber then walked into a drug store later that morning and held a 74-year-old woman hostage as he demanded narcotics from the store clerk. He fled in the hostage's van, Riddle said. The van is the same one found in North Myrtle Beach at the gas station where the Toyota was stolen, police said.

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