Three confess to store robbery

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 21, 2001

Staff Writer

Pike County deputies worked late Thursday night to get information out of some robbery suspects.

At press time, Sheriff Russell Thomas and others from the Pike County Sheriff’s Department had three men in custody and three confessions about involvement in the Friday night robbery of a Pike County store.

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Upon entering the store ­ occupied by the two store owners and three patrons ­ around 8 p.m. the suspects, who were wearing red bandanas over their faces, demanded money.

"They took the money from the cash register and, then, robbed the patrons of their wallets," Thomas said.

Thomas said the individuals took about $2,000 during the incident.

Thomas said all three men, whose identities were not released, confessed to robbing Trawick’s Grocery in the Josie Community and Fox’s Pizza in Union Springs Dec. 11. They also told authorities they were planning to rob another Pike County store yesterday.

Thursday morning, deputies from Pike County were joined by Barbour County authorities in a chase to catch some robbery suspects.

Around 10:30 a.m. Thursday a Pike County deputy attempted to stop a 2000 black Chevrolet Malibu with no tag that was occupied by three black males believed to be responsible for the robbery of the store in Josie.

Local authorities pursued the suspect vehicle while occupants "threw out property," Thomas said.

Around 10:45 a.m., the vehicle was headed toward Clayton. It was about that time additional units, including the Alabama State Troopers, were dispatched for backup and canines from Easterling Correctional Facility in Clio were called in on the case as well as a helicopter from the Department of Public Safety.

Because the suspects’ direction of travel was unknown Troy and Brundidge Police Departments were also notified.

Thomas said the "20- to 25-minute" chase ended just outside of Clayton in Barbour County when the suspects abandoned the car and those involved in the ground and air search apprehended them.

"What was crucial to this case was we were able to get information out about the suspects and vehicle," Thomas said.

Deputies alerted business owners and residents and it was one of those eagle-eyed citizens who notified the sheriff’s department the suspects were in Pike County.

Thomas said two weapons, toboggans and bandanas were recovered Thursday.

Stacy Graning contributed to this report.