Three held in aggravated robbery

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

Jan. 22, 2008 - Three men were being held Tuesday in Greenville jail in connection with an aggravated robbery which occurred at a Sulphur Springs convenience store Monday night.

Sulphur Springs Police Investigator David Gilmore was on his way to Greenville midmorning Tuesday to question the trio, identified by police only as three white men as they had not been formally charged in connection with the Monday night robbery. They are being charged for evading authorities in Greenville as well as for trespassing on church property, where at least two of the three were found sometime after midnight.

Police were contacted at 9:13 p.m. Monday night by a witness who reported seeing the robbery in progress. The witness first observed a suspicious vehicle outside E-Z Mart on League Street, and noted it to be suspicious. It pulled to the side of the business. The three men exited the car only after another vehicle left the business parking lot, one was noted to be carrying a long-gun as they entered the business, the witness told police dispatchers. Officers were dispatched to the location to the robbery in progress.

The robbery occurred in a very short amount of time. The man with the rifle held it pointed in the general direction of the counter, but not directly at the clerk, who had been sitting behind it. She was beginning to stand and was told to sit. The clerk did and looked toward the floor. The two others “hit the register and got the money.” Then the trio left in the black Honda Accord. The clerk was not injured, according to SSPD Patrol Captain Norman Colyer.

Police arrived at the League Street gas station, while other units began heading south on League, the direction the witness reported the car was traveling. They soon learned that the wittiness had mistakenly given the wrong direction of travel, that the car was last seen heading north and was noted to have no taillights. They searched but were unable to locate the car, and sheriff's officers and other area law enforcement were alerted to be on the look out for a black Honda Accord with no tail lights.

The clerk's supervisors was called and surveillance video pulled and reviewed for that particular time frame. Using that information, and information the store supervisor was able to provide regarding a car fitting the same description which had gone by the store about an hour before the robbery, they broadcast that information as well.

Sheriff's officer received a report from someone who said they'd heard about the robbery and car with no lights and believed it to be traveling on State Highway 11 west toward Commerce at about 10 p.m. They were unable to locate the suspects or car however.

Sometime after midnight, Greenville officers spotted a car occupied by three men, both matching the descriptions of those involved in the store robbery. Following a brief chase, which included a foot pursuit all three were captures. The driver was found a short distance from the car, and the two other men found on a church property.

All three men were taken in custody for evading police, and at least two for trespassing. Investigators were going to talk to the trio about the robbery, which netted less than $200, according to Colyer. Police anticipate filing aggravated robbery charges against the three men.

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