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Teen charged as adult for armed robbery at Boaz convenience store, held on $100,000 bond

BOAZ, Ala. -- Boaz police arrested and charged a teenager in connection with the armed robbery at a Minit Man convenience store last week.

Authorities said on December 29th, 16-year-old Rickey Ethan Powell walked into the convenience store, went to the bathroom and grabbed two bags of chips. When the clerk told him how much he owed, police said Powell pulled out a gun.

"Told her that he was gonna kill her and for her to give him all the money in the register," said Boaz Chief of Police Josh Gaskin.

Gaskin said when the register was opened, Powell grabbed the money and ran.

According to police, Powell used a pellet gun that was modified to look like a real pistol during the incident.

"He's very fortunate that he himself wasn't hurt or killed," said Gaskin.

Police shared the security camera photo on Facebook and said social media tips were crucial in developing leads. Police later were able to contact Powell's mother who convinced Powell to turn himself in Tuesday night.

Police said Powell admitted to the robbery and told investigators that it was a gang initiation, but refused to comment further. Authorities have not confirmed if the incident was gang-related and don't believe residents should be fearful of increased gang activity.

Authorities charged Powell with first-degree robbery and fourth-degree theft of property. Because of the nature of the crime, Powell has been charged as an adult and is being held in the Marshall County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (F.B.I.) and Etowah County Drug Task Force assisted in the successful conclusion of this case.