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Farragut Walgreens ‘drive-thru’ robber, Econo Lodge ‘taxi’ robber apprehended

An end-of-the-year crime spree in Farragut has left Knox County Sheriff’s Office with two armed robbers in custody.

At about 1 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 30, Lenoir City resident Michael Bilek allegedly attempted to rob Walgreens Pharmacy at the corner of Smith Road and Kingston Pike.

“The suspect went through the drive-thru and handed the clerk a note demanding Oxycontin and needles, and threatened the clerk with a revolver,” KCSO spokesperson Martha Dooley said.

“The clerk stepped away from the window for a few minutes, and in the meantime, the suspect drove away in a dark gray or black older model Ford pick-up truck,” she added.

It is believed the suspect then drove to Lenoir City, where he successfully robbed East Tenn-essee Discount Drugs about 20 minutes later.

Dooley said the suspect’s truck had silver toolboxes over the wheels. The suspect was des-cribed as a white male with dark hair and scruffy beard, and wearing a black hat and tan jacket.

According to Dooley, Bilek, 41, was arrested a day after the robbery. The suspect currently is being held by KCSO.

“Bilek was arrested without incident on Dec. 31, and admitted to the attempted robbery at Walgreens,” Dooley said in an e-mail.

KCSO officers also are investigating an armed robbery at the Econo Lodge Knoxville, 11717 Campbell Lakes Drive.

Suspect James Covington, 38, allegedly robbed the motel while armed with a handgun around 4:49 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 31.

According to a KCSO police report, Covington entered the Econo Lodge and allegedly pushed motel employee Crystal Perkins to the back of the office, advising her he had a gun.

Covington kept his right hand in his jacket pocket during the incident, during which he allegedly stole $461.70. He fled the scene in a yellow service cab.

Knoxville Police Department officer Thomas Clinton stopped the cab and returned Covington to the scene, where Perkins identified him.

The taxi driver told police he picked up Covington off Magnolia Avenue, and drove him first to the Roadway Inn off Ailor Avenue, then to the Econo Lodge.

The suspect was taken into custody Thursday morning and is being held on a $50,000 bond.


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