Armed robber picks bad spot

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2003

There are Web sites, even TV shows, about some of the world’s dumbest criminals. If convicted, a Demopolis teenager could find himself in the annals of bonehead hold ups.

Earlier this week, Demopolis Police were contacted by a clerk at Elk’s Food Mart after a young man wearing jeans and a red bandana held the clerk at gunpoint and demanded money from the cash register.

According to Police Chief Charles Avery, local police quickly were able to apprehend the suspect after being notified of the armed robbery.

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Obviously, an expedient phone call from the Elk’s clerk helped in the apprehension. Then again, the fact that police only had to walk out the front door of their office also may have played a part in the arrest.

Those familiar with this city know Elk’s Food Mart sits directly across the street from the Demopolis Police Station, and after police were notified of the robbery, they caught the suspect &045;&045; a juvenile &045;&045; driving away from the scene.

The suspect, whose name could not be released because he is a juvenile, has been charged with robbery first degree.

Avery said the juvenile status charge will be dropped in the case, and the suspect will eventually be charged as an adult. District Attorney Greg Griggers, unfamiliar with the case on Friday, said any person 16 years or older who commits a felony armed robbery automatically is charged as an adult, under Alabama law.

While making the arrest may have seemed simple, Avery said the quick response of Sgt. Tommy Johnson and Officers Derrick Carter and Leslie Hines made solving the case much easier.

Along with Det. Sgt. Tim Soronen, Avery praised his entire police force in the effort.

Though the amount of money stolen from Elk’s was not released, police were able to identify the suspect by taking him back to the store and having the clerk identify him.