Bond set for suspect of three armed robberies

Published 4:28 pm Friday, April 11, 2008

Bond has been set for Randy L. Russell on two of the three armed robberies for which he is believed to be responsible.

Picayune Municipal Court Judge Rochelle Lumpkin presided over the bond hearing Wednesday for Russell, 48, of 100 S. Gate Dr., Carriere. He is charged with two counts of armed robbery after an alleged spree involving three armed robberies of convenience stores in and around the city of Picayune. His bond was set at $250,000 for each of the two armed robberies that took place within the city limits, said Municipal Court Clerk Michel Cooper.

Tentatively, a preliminary hearing will take place Wednesday, after which he may be sent to the Pearl River County jail, Cooper said. Russell also will face an armed robbery charge by the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department for his suspected involvement with the armed robbery of the third convenience store, which was outside the city limits.

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Russell has been linked to the robberies of the Pit Stop on April 3, the Logan’s One Stop #3 on Saturday and Bree’s Mini Mart also on Saturday.

At each armed robbery, witnesses reported a man who entered each store using his shirt to cover his face. Each time witnesses described the suspect as asking for all the money in the register while he displayed a bulge in his clothing he claimed to be a gun. The suspect would leave the store shortly after receiving the money.

Using a physical description from witnesses and surveillance video, Picayune Police and Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Investigators worked together to formulate and take into Russell into custody. He was found at a location on Airport Road Sunday morning and taken into investigative custody until he was charged later.

Picayune Police Chief Jim Luke said a gun has not been recovered but the investigation is ongoing.