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Officer response, community involvement catches robber

Concerned citizens and Picayune Police officers teamed up to catch a would be robber in less than a minute after the crime occurred.

Wednesday morning, local business owner Evelyn Edwards was on her way to the bank across the street from her business on West Canal when a man riding a bicycle stole her deposit bag. The suspect, later identified as 20 year-old Brendin Anthony Pitts, did not count on Edwards giving chase to recover her property.

Edwards said she was walking to the bank when Pitts rode up behind her on a bicycle and grabbed the deposit bag from her and attempted to ride away. However Edwards said she ran after him and grabbed the back of his bike, holding on until he lost his balance and fell off, before running away.

“I had his bicycle,” Edwards said.

Edwards said the whole time she was screaming, causing other people in the area to take notice.

“All the people on the block here heard me screaming and they called 911,” Edwards said.

Picayune Police Deputy Chief David Ervin said the call came in about 11:50 that morning and nearby officers quickly responded to the area near the First National Bank on West Canal. Ervin said Officer Daniel Davis and Investigator Chris Toft captured the suspect a short distance from the bank and took him into custody at 11:51.

Pitts, who gave an address of 1404 Bender St., was charged with robbery, since he was not found to be in possession of a weapon. Edwards also said she did not see a weapon during the incident.

“We thank the community for their willingness to get involved and report this crime. We believe this was the absolute reason this crime was solved so quickly,” Ervin said.

Ervin said the money bag and a shirt were recovered by officers a short distance from where Pitts was captured. Apparently Pitts was wearing two shirts during the incident and removed his top shirt shortly after running from the scene, the deputy chief said.