Armed robber caught 4/8/2014

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Albert J. Johnson

Armed robber caught

By Rupert Howell
Timely response, agency cooperation, available assets and a little luck were involved in Sunday morning’s quick apprehension of a suspected armed robber, according to Sardis Police Chief Chris Martin.

Albert J. Johnson, 26, of 8353 Old Panola Road, Sardis is sitting in Panola County Jail charged with armed robbery after area law enforcement converged in Sardis Sunday morning to assist in finding the fleeing suspect.

The timely response came at 7:33 a.m. Sunday morning after an initial call at 7:31 stating that an employee of Dollar General was robbed while attempting to make a deposit in the drop box at First Security Express on East Lee St.

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According to the investigator’s report, the Dollar General employee was struck across the face after the robber asked the employee to hand over the deposit.

Martin said the suspect fled and was spotted crossing I-55 when MHP officer Darren Anderson happened to see him crossing the interstate and instructed him to stop.

Johnson headed toward the wooded area north of Panola County’s Emergency Management Building (formerly the National Guard building), where Anderson and SPD officers set up boundaries.

“We set up a perimeter,” Martin said, isolating the area while being joined by other agencies including  MHP, Panola County Sheriff’s Department, officers from Como and Batesville Police Department.

K-9 officers Emily and Bubba Moore had joined the manhunt and Sheriff Department investigator Bryan Arnold said the suspect was flushed from hiding and then informed that the K-9 unit would release their dog if he did not surrender.

Arnold said the suspect continued to run and the dog was released, subduing the suspect with “no further incident.”

Sheriff Dennis Darby, a former K-9 officer with MHP, said everything worked like it was supposed to. Darby added that the suspect had removed some clothing articles and left then and some of the money hidden in the brush where it was later located by a Panola County’s Emergency Management Agency’s rescue dogs.

Chief Martin said that approximately $4,300 was reported in the deposit bag at the time of the robbery.

The amount recovered was not available at press time but Sheriff Darby said investigators and K-9 officers would return to the scene later Monday.

Chief Martin, Sheriff Darby and Investigator Arnold each separately sang from the same page concerning departments working together.

Arnold is leading the investigation, explaining that often the Sheriff’s Department has more resources at hand and are called to lead investigations with major crime for some municipalities.