Police made arrest in Picayune armed robbery case

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Picayune Police arrested a Picayune man in relation to the armed robbery of a check advance store Tuesday morning near Highway 11 and Memorial Boulevard.
Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said officers responded to Check Into Cash at 807 Highway 11 North Suite B at 10:17 a.m. Tuesday in reference to an armed robbery.
Upon arrival, employees told officers that the suspect entered the store and displayed a silver and black weapon believed to be a firearm and demanded cash, Magri said. It was later determined a knife was used in the crime, Magri said.
The clerk described the suspect as a black male believed to be between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches with a thin build and wearing a black ski mask, a camouflage shirt and dark colored pants, Magri said.
After collecting an undetermined amount of cash, the suspect fled on foot. Numerous officers from the Picayune Police Department, including Chief Bryan Dawsey, along with deputies from the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department, set up a perimeter in the area, Magri said.
While establishing the perimeter, an officer saw a man matching the description of the suspect attempting to jump a fence in the 400 block of Woodland Cove in an attempt to reach East Canal Street, Magri said.
When the suspect saw the officer, he turned back and started running toward the Arbor Gate apartment complex. The suspect then entered the Grande Oaks apartment complex through a hole in the fence, where he was taken into custody at 10:43 a.m.
When the suspect was taken into custody, he was not wearing the ski mask or a camouflage shirt as described by the witness, but possessed a large amount of cash, Magri said.
He was transported to Highland Community Hospital where he refused treatment for exhaustion and was taken to the Picayune Criminal Justice Center were he was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest by fleeing. The suspect, later identified as Craig McDonald, 38, of 1219 Fern Drive, Picayune, was held as a possible suspect in the armed robbery case while the investigation continued, Magri said.
As officers continued to search the area in an attempt to recover the clothes described by the witness and the remaining stolen cash, they located a vehicle in the Grande Oaks apartment complex believed to belong to the suspect, Magri said.
In plain view of the green Toyota Sequoia, officers could see a camouflage shirt, a black ski mask and a black and silver knife through the car window. After verifying the license plate with dispatch, it was learned the car was registered to McDonald, Magri said.
The vehicle was transported to the department where detectives obtained a search warrant and recovered the clothes that matched the description given by the store clerk. They also recovered a knife in the backseat that detectives believe is the weapon that was used during the robbery, Magri said.
Detectives also located a large amount of cash and a large amount of crack cocaine under seats in the vehicle, Magri said.
McDonald was then additionally charged with armed robbery and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
Magri said the investigation is ongoing and will include a review of surveillance video taken inside the store.
“Myself and Chief Dawsey would like to thank the Sheriff’s Department for their assistance and helping secure the perimeter,” Magri said. “This was truly a team effort; everyone was immediately in the area. We couldn’t have asked for a better job to be done.”

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About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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