Crime, persistence don’t pay crooks

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 20, 2004

If at first you don’t succeed, try again… and get arrested.

An unsuccessful robbery attempt Monday night didn’t stop at least two juveniles from going back to a Demopolis arcade to give it another try.

According to Jeff Manuel, public safety director and acting police chief, one juvenile has been arrested on two separate charges. The first is on criminal conspiracy charges to commit a robbery. The second is a first-degree robbery charge for the juvenile’s part in robbing the Vine and Olive Game Room in Demopolis Plaza on Tuesday night.

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According to Manuel, a witness spotted two young men standing outside the arcade Monday night. When that witness approached the juveniles — who appeared to be in the act of committing a crime — the juveniles fled the scene.

“It looks like the guy drove up and spooked them off,” Manuel said.

On Monday, no robbery took place, and the witness who spotted the suspects reported nothing to police.

“[The witness] didn’t think much about it,” Manuel said. “He thought they were just messing around.”

The next night, the juveniles weren’t spooked, and they apparently carried out the crime. And this time, upon hearing about the Vine and Olive robbery, the witness immediately contacted police.

Around 11:45 p.m. on Tuesday, police were called for a robbery at the arcade. Details about the amount of money missing from the local business were not released.

Upon getting the call, Officers Brady Tew, David Heaton and Terrance Smith responded to the robbery. Det. Sgt. Tim Soronen and Det. Tim Williams also were called and began an investigation of the scene.

According to Manuel, detectives found black masks near the crime scene on Wednesday.

“Based on information we received, along with that evidence, we were able to make an arrest today — about 12 hours after the crime,” Manuel said.

The name of the juvenile cannot be released, but Manuel indicated that at least one other suspect is being sought.

The incarcerated suspect admitted to police that he was part of the Monday night incident that involved no actual robbery. As for the Tuesday robbery, police did not release what the suspect has said.

The quick apprehension of a suspect thrilled Manuel. Just four days earlier, his officers apprehended Jerry Jermaine Jackson, who was wanted in association with two murders in Marietta, Ga.,

“It’s amazing how good these guys are,” Manuel said of his police force. “To be able to find a suspect and arrest him in 12 hours after the crime, it’s unbelievable.”

While police do have one suspect in custody, Manuel suggested that the Vine and Olive robbery is still under investigation.

By Jonathan McElvy / Publisher