Armed robbery suspect arrested quickly

Published 6:38 pm Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Another armed robbery in Picayune that took place Friday, but a suspect was in custody in less than 15 minutes.

At about 3:30 p.m. Friday, a man wearing a black and white checkered shirt and no mask entered the Dollar General on Memorial Boulevard. Upon entering the store he approached the counter with nothing in his hands, said employee Carleen Lee. As she came inside from her break, she saw the man approach the counter. When Lee asked the man if she could help him he instructed her to open the drawer that because the store was being robbed.

The armed robber was later identified as Craig Dewayne Brumley, 19, of 299 Salem Rd.

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After determining the Brumley was serious Lee said she told him that she did not have her keys with her at the time, that the manager had them and would be back shortly. Brumley told Lee that she could just push a button to open the register, but Lee said she continued to tell him that a key was needed.

“He said, ‘Give me all the money or I’m going to shoot you,’” Lee said.

Finally she convinced Brumley that she needed the key, so Lee said they stood there for a while waiting for the manager to come back.

When the manager handed Lee her key, she said she asked the manager to stay because the store was being robbed. The manager instructed Lee to do as Brumley instructed, so Lee handed him the fives, tens and twenties out of the register.

“I gave him all the money and he slowly walked out the door then took off running,” Lee said. “I was scared, like really bad.”

After Brumley left, Lee said they called the police, who arrived about five minutes after getting the call at about 3:47 p.m., Deputy Chief David Ervin said.

Ervin said the witness’ description stated Brumley was wearing no mask so freckles could be seen. However, when Brumley was arrested he was wearing a red shirt.

“I think he got rid of the shirt he used during the robbery,” Ervin said.

Less than 15 minutes from the department receiving the call, the police department was able to find the suspect at the mini storage on Haugh Avenue. thanks to a little help from a Pearl River County deputy sheriff, Ervin said.

Ervin said as the deputy was waiting to escort a funeral procession he saw a suspicious looking person at the mini storage fitting the description of the suspect he heard over the radio. Additionally, a man driving a truck at a nearby construction site said he saw the man riding his bike from the area of the robbery and pointed officers in that direction, Ervin said.

“We got a great community here with people not afraid to get involved,” Ervin said. “If they see someone that fits the description, they will point us in the right direction. I commend the community for not being afraid to get involved and assist when they can.”

Brumley was charged with armed robbery and also found to have two warrants out for his arrest, one for resisting arrest and another for failure to appear.

A weapon was not found on the suspect at the time of arrest, Ervin said.

Lee said the police department brought back photos of the suspect they caught, which she confirmed was the same person.

Chief Jim Luke stated in a written statement, “The robbery suspect was apprehended in minutes due to quick response of officers, citizens who got involved and the deputy who assisted. The criminal element needs to understand that crime of this type will not be tolerated and will be projected to fullest extent of the law.”