Local man charged in liquor store robbery

By Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

July 8, 2007 - Deputies and special crimes unit investigators Tuesday evening helped Titus County authorities solve a liquor store robbery.

Stephen Shane “Twak” or “Skitts” Simpson, 21, of Sulphur Springs was arrested at 5 p.m. for the aggravated robbery of Oasis liquor store in Winfield Monday evening. He was held overnight in Hopkins County jail and released to Franklin County Sheriff’s Investigator Clint Bain this morning.

Simpson is alleged Monday afternoon to have “cased”  Oasis liquor store in Winfield, walking back and forth several times in front of a security camera and waiting until customers left before approaching the sales desk. He is then alleged to have displayed a pistol to the clerk before taking approximately $200 in cash. He then drove away in what was determined to be a borrowed car, Hopkins County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Rickey Morgan said Wednesday morning.

Titus County authorities contacted Hopkins County officials, and via e-mail sent a copy of the security video from the beverage store, which showed a suspect committing the act.

�Investigator Clint Bain e-mailed us the video,� said Morgan. �We watched it and printed off some still pictures. From that, we were able to make what we believed to be positive ID on him. We'd had him in jail here a few days before on an unrelated charge.�

Hopkins County sheriff’s officers also pulled Simpson’s book-in photo. Comparing the photos, Simpson was noted to have had a black-eye in the book-in photo as well as the photo from Oasis’ surveillance video, the chief deputy noted. HCSO Sheriff’s Investigators Lewis Tatum and Jace Anglin, along with Special Crimes Unit investigators, began searching for Simpson.

SCU Lt. Ron Plaxco and Sgt. Tony Crouse located Simpson in Sulphur Springs, and Anglin and Tatum stopped him for a traffic violation. Simpson was then transported to the sheriff’s office, where he was interviewed. He admitted to investigators that he committed the offense and was arrested for aggravated robbery, according to Morgan.

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