GALLIPOLIS — An Ashton, W.Va., man is being charged with felony robbery after reportedly physically assaulting a woman in her 70s and then stealing her car in the Gallipolis Walmart parking lot, Saturday morning, said the Gallipolis Police Department.
According to GPD records, Travis Efaw, 31, was at the Walmart the morning in question after being released from the Gallia Jail where he was held for a reported traffic-related violation.
According to a Gallipolis Municipal Court complaint, Efaw approached the victim around 9:30 a.m. as she was in the process of placing groceries in her vehicle before allegedly attacking her and taking her keys. The complaint then said he took off at a high rate of speed out of the parking lot in the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu.
Law enforcement interviewed four witnesses, said Gallipolis Police Chief Jeff Boyer, individuals who had attempted to help the woman after hearing her call for aid.
The victim suffered minor injuries, said Boyer, and was inspected by Gallia EMS.
Efaw was later arrested the same day, shortly before 1 p.m., after being found at a gas station in the Bidwell area. The car was recovered with reportedly no damage.
“We don’t often have reported car thefts in the area or incidents like this,” said Boyer. “We always recommend practicing situational awareness. You may never know when you’re going to be targeted. If you’re uncertain of something, trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, there’s a good chance something isn’t. Don’t feel bad about calling the police or asking people for help walking somewhere.”
Dean Wright is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. He can be reached at 740-446-2342.