High speed chase ends in one arrest

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Local law enforcement officers apprehended a robbery suspect Tuesday morning after he allegedly took money from a woman who was sitting in a car in Fred’s parking lot on the Greenville Bypass.

According to Lt. Anthony Barganier, a call came in at 9:32 a.m. to E-911 from an employee at Fred’s Discount Store in reference to a robbery in the parking lot.

&uot;The victim did an excellent job describing the suspect and his vehicle,&uot; Barganier said.

The victim, Julia Pitts, described the suspect as a black male with cornrow braids and wearing a black shirt. She reported that the suspect approached her vehicle in Fred’s parking lot, opened the driver’s-side door and said, &uot;Ma’am, I have a gun, and if you give me your money, I won’t kill you.&uot; The suspect then fled with approximately $20 from Pitts.

Barganier said that Butler County Sheriff Diane Harris received a call earlier Tuesday morning about suspicious behavior at Hardee’s, and she was given a detailed description of the SUV. Once the robbery was reported, Harris called the GPD and gave the description of the vehicle.

GPD Capt. Danny Campbell saw the suspect’s vehicle, a 2002 tan/gold GMC Envoy without a displayed tag, at The Smokehouse on Highway 10 West. The suspect’s vehicle then left the scene at a high rate of speed prompting a police chase west on Manningham Road where Sgt. Marcus Christianson deployed the spike strips to stop the vehicle. However, the suspect stopped and swerved before coming to the spike strips.

Barganier said that the high-speed chase ended in the northbound lane of Interstate 65 around mile marker 131, where the suspect’s right rear tire blew. Law enforcement officers took the 24-year-old suspect into custody at that time along with the vehicle that was reported as being stolen from the Hattiesburg, Miss. , area.

A second suspect, a white female, was taken into custody underneath the I-65 bridge on Highway 10 West by Barganier and Officer Antonio Grandison. She was questioned and later released.

Lt. Barganier said that no weapon was found on the suspect or in the vehicle. He has been arrested and booked into the Butler County Jail as ‘John Doe’ until further identification is made. The suspect has been charged with robbery, first degree, and receiving stolen property, first degree.

&uot;The quick apprehension of this suspect was a successfully combined effort of the Greenville Police Dept., the Butler County Sheriff’s Dept., and Alabama State Trooper James Moorer,&uot; Barganier said.

The GPD Criminal Investigation Division will be continuing the investigation of this incident.