Alert officer foils robbery

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lawrence County officials said an alert police officer foiled an attempted robbery Wednesday night.

     Lawrence County Sheriff Joel Thames said New Hebron Police Chief George Walker was sitting in front of Highway 43 Food Mart in New Hebron around 8:50 p.m. and saw a husband and wife closing the store.

     “The wife had pulled the truck around the store as the husband was turning the lights off,” said Walker. “I just looked up and saw a black male standing next to her by the truck and heard her scream.”

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     Walker confronted the individual, who had his face covered with a garment.

     As Walker was calling Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office for assistance, the subject fled on foot.

     Walker was unaware that another subject had confronted the male owner of the store and began a pursuit.

     Sheriff’s deputies arrived shortly after and began to search. Walker apprehended one subject and deputies located the accomplice approximately two blocks away.

     After interviewing the store owners, it was revealed both subjects brandished firearms, Thames said. Two weapons were found that are believed to have been involved in the case.

     Arrested were Charles Martez James, 23, of 434 Wilson Floyd Rd., Magee, and Denzale Sandifer, 17, of 814 First Street NW Apt. A3, Magee. Both were transported to the Lawrence County Jail and booked on charges of armed robbery.

     Thames said the pair came to New Hebron in a 2002 KIA. The vehicle was transported to Lawrence County Jail.

     Thames said he will speak with Simpson County authorities Thursday about the pair, as there have been several armed robberies within past month in Magee and the two accused along with the vehicle they were using fit the description for the Magee robberies.

     The accused have an initial court appearance Thursday, where they will be formally charged.

     Walker said his actions do not make him a hero.

     “I was just doing my job,” Walker said. “I was at the right place at the right time.”