Local Subway robber dealt lengthy prison term

Apr. 23—A Jasper County judge has assessed an Oklahoma man 23 years behind bars for the armed robbery two years ago of the Subway restaurant at Stone's Corner in Airport Drive.

Judge Gayle Crane sentenced Taylor L. Yahola, 25, of Oklahoma City, to 20 years for first-degree robbery and three years for armed criminal action and ordered the terms to be served consecutively at a sentencing hearing Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court.

Yahola robbery the Subway at Stone's Corner on May 10, 2022, walking into the restaurant wearing a COVID mask and a hooded sweatshirt and ordering a steak-and-cheese sandwich. After a female employee made him the sandwich, he walked around the counter, put a gun in her face and demanded all the money in the cash register and two safes under the counter.

She told Jasper County deputies that he also took her purse and cellphone before leaving with $446 of the restaurant's cash and jumping in a Chrysler 300 headed south on North Main Street.

Investigators soon learned that the same car had been involved in a pursuit later the same day in Oklahoma, where the driver had bailed out and fled on foot. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol informed the sheriff's office that the driver was Yahola, who had a warrant out for his arrest for the hijacking of the Chrysler 300 in Oklahoma City.

Two days later, Yahola was arrested on the Oklahoma warrant in Joplin and interviewed by investigators with the sheriff's office. A probable-cause affidavit states that he admitted in the interview that he had robbed the Subway in Airport Drive.

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.