Robbers nabbed after chase

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 23, 2004

DEMOPOLIS – Four Demopolis people are in jail after getting caught with the loot from an armed robbery.

Arrested early Tuesday morning were Tanya McKenzie, 20, Jacqueline Pruitt, 18, Jeffery Williams, 18 and a female juvenile, all of Demopolis. Each was charged with robbery first degree for using a shotgun to steal cash from Diamond Oil Co. on U.S. Highway 80 East, said Director of Public Safety Jeff Manuel.

The group was arrested after a short pursuit down Alabama Highway 43 South, after a witness gave police a description of the robbers and their get-away car.

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It was the second robbery in the city overnight.

Police were originally summoned to the Vine and Olive Game Room about 1 a.m. in response to a reported attempted robbery. Officers at the scene said two suspects wearing masks entered the game room with a double-barrel shotgun, but were scared off by a patron the suspects thought to be armed.

While investigating that report, officers were called to the Diamond Oil Co. There they learned a female carrying a shotgun had robbed the business and fled on foot toward Heritage Motel before entering a small blue car with out-of-state license plates.

Police said an undetermined amount of cash was taken during the robbery, but that most was recovered from the car.

Police reports indicate that when officers attempted to stop the car, the suspects started throwing money out of the car’s windows. McKenzie, police said, fled on foot into a wooded area after officers stopped the vehicle.

The shotgun was recovered near the robbery scene, police said.

While police cannot be certain there is a connection between the attempted robbery at the arcade and the robbery at the Diamond Oil Co., detectives continue to investigate both incidents.

Overall, Det. Sgt. Tim Soronen said robberies in Demopolis are down slightly over the previous year.

“There have been a few ‘opportunity robberies’ but no more than at any other. Time,” he said. “Compared to this time last year (armed robberies of businesses) are down.”