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12:49 PM Wed, Nov. 21st

Store owner arrested on charges of sexual abuse of a customer

Ronald Hebb

Ronald Hebb

Prescott police arrested the owner of the Conoco Food Mart in Prescott on Friday on charges of felony sexual abuse after a woman said he fondled her when she tried to pay for some items at the cash register, a spokesman said.

Officers booked Ronald Hebb, 62, of Prescott into the Camp Verde jail on one count of felony sexual abuse.

Hebb was released on his own recognizance at his initial court appearance pending his next court date, said Lt. Andy Reinhardt, spokesman for the Prescott Police Department.

On April 8, a 43-year-old woman told police she went to the store in the 2800 block of Willow Creek Road to buy a snack and a drink but was a little short of the amount she owed, and told that to Hebb. Hebb then allegedly reached over the counter and fondled her breast, Reinhardt said.

Police investigated the incident and confirmed it occurred as the victim told police, Reinhardt said.

"After obtaining a search warrant, detectives searched the business and recovered a computer they believe may have video footage of the incident," Reinhardt said. "Detectives are looking at the video footage to see if that particular incident was caught on tape."

A week later, the victim confronted Hebb about the incident and made an audio recording of their conversation, Reinhardt said.

"He did admit to the victim that the reason he grabbed her was to get what he described as a cheap thrill," Reinhardt said.

Based on their investigation and the audio recording the victim obtained, detectives determined they had sufficient evidence to arrest him on charge of felony sexual abuse, Reinhardt said.

Prescott police ask anyone who may have information about this incident to contact Detective Ryan Hobbs at (928) 777-1920.