CONYERS -- The man arrested in connection with Thursday's armed robbery of a local SunTrust Bank branch was homeless and had a long criminal record, including a similar robbery in Covington in 2005.
James Cozine, 22, was charged with armed robbery after he was taken into custody by Conyers Police following the armed robbery of the SunTrust Bank located at 1530 Ga. Highway 138.
CPD Sgt. Chris Moon said the robber walked into the bank at 3:32 p.m. wearing all black clothing with gloves and a mask and holding a handgun. The robber had left the building when police arrived; however, witnesses directed officers where the man was heading.
"There were several witnesses who were in the parking lot and watching what had happened and some had even followed him from the back of Picadilly's heading toward Northside Drive," Moon said.
The help from witnesses allowed Conyers Police and the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office to set up a perimeter at Hunting Creek Drive and Flat Shoals Road. Officers lost track of the robbery suspect until one of them spotted Cozine hiding in a kudzu patch near Pep Boys and Intown Suites.
Cozine was subdued and arrested. Moon said police found a bag with Cozine that contained gloves, a dust mask, money that was identified as being taken from the bank and a BB gun that is suspected to be the gun used in the bank heist.
Cozine was charged by the FBI for a 2005 robbery of the Bank of North Georgia branch in Covington. Cozine was tied to the Covington bank robbery after he was arrested by Conyers police on theft by taking and altered car tag charges.
Moon said he was convicted of robbery in federal courts for the Covington bank robbery and served two years in federal prison. He was then released and completed his sentence on probation, ending in 2010.
Moon said Cozine told police he was homeless and living out of his car at the time of his arrest Thursday.
Cozine remains in the Rockdale County Jail awaiting a bond hearing.