COVINGTON - The Newton County Sheriff's Office has arrested two suspects in the Wednesday night armed robbery of a Ga. Highway 81 Citgo station and has tied one of the suspects to the robbery of a BP station that occurred on May 29, according to NCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell.
Mitchell said deputies were summoned to the Citgo gas station, located at 2527 Ga. 81 S. about 11 p.m. Wednesday, after the clerk was robbed by two black men brandishing handguns, according to a witness who called 911.
"The suspects ran out of the store and sped away in a black SUV being driven by a third suspect," Mitchell said. "Newton County deputies responded to the area and located the suspect vehicle at the intersection of Brown Bridge and Salem roads."
Mitchell said deputies took the driver into custody as the two passengers fled on foot.
"After a brief foot chase, one of the fleeing suspects was caught in the Publix grocery store parking lot. The third suspect was able to abscond on foot and at this time has not been located," Mitchell said.
Mitchell said both weapons involved in the robbery of the Citgo station were located, as well as cash taken in the robbery.
Arrested were Renarda Jermal Smith, 28, of Decatur, who was charged with armed robbery and aggravated assault, and Shaddarron Harris, 43, of Morrow, who was charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Mitchell said after questioning the pair, NCSO investigators have linked Harris to an armed robbery at the BP station at 3501 Salem Road on May 29.
In other crime news, the Covington/Newton County Special Investigations Unit made an arrest Thursday night after conducting several undercover purchases from a residence in the Eagles Point mobile home park on Ga. Highway 36, according to Commander Lt. Philip Bradford.
Arrested was Antonio Rodriques Perry, 26, of 12145 Ga. Highway 36, Lot 5, who was charged with sale of marijuana and probation violation.
"We've been working this case for a couple of months. We've dealt with Perry before and he's currently on probation on drug charges," Bradford said. "We made several purchases from the residence from Perry."
Bradford said when the search warrant was served Perry was home with his wife and newborn baby of 4 weeks.
"We located a little over 4 ounces of marijuana with a street value between $1,600 to $1,800," Bradford said, adding that the marijuana would have been broken down into small quantities and sold for $10 to $20 a bag. "That way they can make more money."
Bradford said because of the probation violation, there was a hold on Perry and bond would not be available.
Barbara Knowles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org