Tobacco store robbery suspects arrested

Published 5:54 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Scotty Price, 29, of 279 Mitchell Rd., Poplarville and Berry Allen Knight, 41, of 227 Avenue I, Bogalusa, La., have been charged in the armed robbery of Smokies Discount Tobacco in Poplarville.

The robbery occurred on Nov. 9, at about 6:22 p.m. when two suspects dressed in camouflage pants, masks and gloves entered the store on Mississippi 26 in Poplarville, according to a press release from the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department.

One of the suspects went behind the counter and forced the owner and his son on the floor while the second suspect remained at the front of the store. The second suspect then moved to the counter, pointed his gun at the victims while attempting to open the register, the press release states. Sheriff’s Department Investigator Bill Martin said the witnesses could not determine which of the two suspects was where during the robbery because they were wearing masks.

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One suspect asked if there was a safe and where it was located. When one of the victims said there was no safe, the suspect kicked open a cabinet door, found the safe and ran from the building with it, the release states. The second suspect managed to open the register and fled with the till full of money. The suspects made off with nearly $1,500 in cash, according to the release.

One of the suspects has confessed to the robbery, but because the case is still being investigated, Martin said he cannot say which one.

Price and Knight were arrested in Bogalusa on Thursday and charged with armed robbery. Bond for the two suspects was set at $2 million each, and they are being held in the Pearl River County jail.

Martin said the suspects’ arrest was a collaborative effort of the Bogalusa Police Department, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Department and the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department.

The stolen money was not recovered, but the safe and some credit card receipts have been.

“Very seldom in this kind of case do you recover money,” Martin said.