Suspect still presumed in area

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 23, 2004

A suspect in a Bessemer robbery remains on the loose, possibly in Greene County.

Four suspects of the Feb. 16 robbery of the La Pera store in Bessemer fled south trying to make it to Houston, Texas, said detective Mike Wood of the Bessemer Police Department. He did not have a name for the wanted suspect.

They were stopped in a traffic stop by the Tuscaloosa Sheriff’s Department. The suspects fled the traffic stop. One suspect, Elix Ponce, was captured by Tuscaloosa law enforcement Tuesday.

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Officers from Greene County, Tuscaloosa County and Bessemer Police searched Tuesday and Wednesday. A helicopter from the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department was used in the search.

Suspect Jose Reyes was apprehended by the Greene County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday at approximately 9 p.m. at the Knoxville, Ala. exit of Interstate 20/59.

Ali Nataren was captured Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. two miles south of Knoxville.

Reyes were turned over to Tuscaloosa authorities, Wood said. Nataren was turned over to Bessemer Police Wednesday. Detective Wood thanked the Greene County Sheriff’s Department for their cooperation. “They did a great job,” he said.

According to officials at the Bessemer Jail Thursday, Elix Ponce and Jose Reyes were both charged Wednesday with robbery I. They remain in the jail under $250,000 bond each.

It is likely the remaining suspect has already left Greene County, but the officers with the Sheriff’s Department will continue to search.