October 12, 2015
By Paul Joseph, News Director –
The preliminary hearing for the man accused in the garden center robbery in the spring is Tuesday.
Bond for 58-year-old Kenneth Harold Tibbetts was reduced from $500-thousand dollars to $50-thousand dollars and six-days later Tibbetts bonded out of the Beckham County Detention Center with strict rules given by the judge. The Elk City man was ordered to strict house arrest and to wear an ankle monitor and to have no contact with the alleged victim including staying away from the premises of the premises of the alleged violation.
Tibbetts was taken into custody May 21, 2015 as the result of an intense investigation by police and was additionally charged for a second crime after allegedly confessing to it during an interview.
Tibbetts was charged with the robbery of the Janie’s Garden City in Elk City on Saturday, May 9th and for an attempted robbery, a car-jacking at gunpoint in the United Food Grocery Store parking lot less than a week later, Friday, May 15.
The suspect in the car-jacking was believed to have fled on foot into the residential area south of the grocery store.
The garden center was robbed at gunpoint around 6 pm by a heavy-set, white male in his 50’s with a Foo-Man-Choo mustache with the edges going all the way back to his side burns.
The man police arrested was clean shaven, but Elk City Police Chief Eddie Holland said at the time he was sure they’d arrested the right man.
Prior to the arrest, Chief Holland forecast that the suspect was local with local ties and said experience led investigators to the belief that it was the same person committing both crimes.
Police say Tibbetts held the garden center clerk at gunpoint, stole cash and then tried to steal the clerks vehicle, all while threatening to shoot the clerk and an assistant.
Days later, Tibbetts is believed to have allegedly tried to carjack a couple in the grocery store parking lot. He was identified in a photo lineup by the woman who reported the carjacking.
In the garden center robbery, Tibbetts was charged with robbery with a weapon, possession of a firearm after former felony conviction and two counts of kidnapping.
In the attempted car-jacking, he was charged with two counts of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm after felony conviction.
Tibbetts is due in district court in Sayre at 9 am.