• 75°

Two arrested, another sought in eatery robbery

Two Brookhaven men were arrested and a warrant was issued for athird in connection with the armed robbery of a fast-foodrestaurant early Wednesday, police officials said.

Kendrin D. Hicks, 21, of 400 Grenn St., was arrested at his homeand has been charged with armed robbery and grand larceny. AntonioTrune Owens, 21, of 900 Williams St., has been charged withpossession of stolen property, Police Chief Pap Henderson said.

“We have not arrested the second person involved in the robbery,but we have identified him,” the chief said. “We missed him byabout 10 to 15 minutes last night.”

A warrant has been issued for Kenneth D. Eley, 20, of 400 GrennSt., on charges of armed robbery and grand larceny. Anyone withknowledge of his whereabouts is encouraged to call the policedepartment at (601) 833-2424, Henderson said.

The chief said Eley participated in the robbery but it wasHicks, he said, who used a pistol to hold three Taco Bell employeesat gunpoint while demanding cash.

No one was injured during the robbery, which occurred as therestaurant was closing around 1:20 a.m. Wednesday, Capt. RogerWilson said.

An employee taking out the garbage was accosted at gunpoint andwas escorted back into the restaurant, Wilson said. Eley went intothe restaurant with them, Wilson said.

Once inside, the men, their faces hidden behind large bandannas,rounded up another employee, later determined to be Owens, and themanager, Wilson said.

Wilson said the men demanded cash and put the three employees inan unlocked walk-in cooler with the admonishment to “stay in thereawhile” while the two men fled in the manager’s car. The robbershad taken the keys to the vehicle from the manager, Wilsonsaid.

The abandoned car was found later that morning by a patrollingpolice officer.

Henderson said his office received numerous calls from thepublic with leads in the case, and it was from those leads theywere able to identify Hicks. Surveillance cameras also managed tocapture grainy images of the robbers, who were well disguised.

Hicks made a signed and videotaped confession duringinterrogation, Henderson said.

Hicks also aided police investigators in recovering some of theundetermined amount of cash stolen during the robbery.

“After we arrested Hicks last night, he said some of the moneywas at Owens’ house – that he was holding it for him,” the chiefsaid. “Hicks is saying Owens had no knowledge of the robbery.”

Owens was arrested late last night while working a shift at TacoBell.

“We’re going to investigate (Owens) further,” Henderson said. “Ifelt very strongly from the beginning that someone had told themthe restaurant’s operations. We know they were friends. Did it justcome out in casual conversation or did he help plan it? That’s whatwe have to find out.”

It also appears that Owens may have been aware of the robberybecause he was working at the restaurant, Henderson said. However,Owens did not take out the trash that night.