Victims help nab robbery suspects

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, August 7, 2001

The keen observations of a Brookhaven business’ employees led tothe quick arrest of two armed robbery suspects Mondayafternoon.

“It’s very important to get as much information as possible, andthey did a good job getting descriptions of the suspects and theirvehicle,” Brookhaven Police Chief Arlustra “Pap” Henderson saidabout the actions of Citi Financial employees.

Robbers hit the business at about 3:12 p.m. Monday, and by 3:30p.m. law enforcement officers had two suspects in custody.

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James E. Young Jr., 21, of 1042 Daniels Lane, Hazlehurst, andRicky Jones, 19, address unknown, were both arrested and chargedwith armed robbery after being pulled over by Wesson andCopiah-Lincoln Community College authorities, who had heard thedescriptions employees gave, Henderson said.

After the four employees in the business, which is located inLincoln Plaza, were held up by two men carrying “very real-looking”pellet pistols, they immediately called the police department withtheir information.

“In talking with the employees, we found out that two blackmales first entered the building and looked around for a fewminutes. Then they went back out and both came back in displayingchrome-plated pistols,” Henderson said.

Even though one of the suspects’ face was half-covered by awhite cloth, employees were still able to get good clothingdescriptions and notice other important details, such as onesubject had four gold teeth, Henderson added.

One key factor in the employees’ observations was rememberingwhat type of vehicle the suspects left in, which took the heroiceffort of one employee, Henderson said.

“After they robbed them, they took them to the back and toldthem to lay on the floor, then exited the building through theback,” Henderson said. “One of the employees followed the suspectsout the door and got a very good description of the vehicle.”

They told officers to look for a maroon, older model MonteCarlo, last seen heading north on Highway 51.

“We got in touch with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department,MHP, Wesson Police Department, Co-Lin and Copiah County Sheriff’sDepartment and gave them the vehicle description,” Henderson said,adding that the accurate description made it much easier forauthorities to know what type of vehicle to look for.

Less than 20 minutes after the armed robbery, Wesson PoliceChief Jim Dykes and Co-Lin Chief Wayne Roberts spotted the vehiclecoming from Old Highway 51 to Highway 51. They turned on theirlights, and Young pulled the vehicle over less than a mile insideCopiah County.

In the vehicle, authorities found the personal items taken fromemployees and the undisclosed amount of cash removed from CitiFinancial cash drawers during the robbery.

They also found packages for two pellet pistols, but thesuspects stated they had thrown the pistols out between Brookhavenand Copiah County, Brookhaven Assistant Police Chief Nolan Jonessaid.

Two ski masks, which were apparently not used in the heist, andclothing matching employees’ descriptions were also located in thevehicle, Jones added.

Henderson is thankful for the quick actions of employees and lawenforcement officers, who all helped make the crime spreeshort-lived.

“I really want to thank everyone who was involved for theirassistance,” he said.

Jones and Young are being held in the Lincoln County Jail with abond hearing pending.