COVINGTON — The joint efforts of citizens, the Covington-Newton County 911 Center, the Covington Police Department and the Newton County Sheriff’s Office are credited for capturing a suspected armed robber just minutes after the crime was reported.
Newton County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded around 9 p.m. Monday to a report of an armed robbery at the Marathon gas station located at 12805 U.S. Highway 278 in Social Circle. By the time deputies arrived, the man had fled the scene.
Sgt. Cortney Morrison said that the witnesses at the scene provided “prompt and accurate information to dispatch” and dispatch was able to disseminate that information to local authorities and authorities in neighboring counties.
“All of that was beneficial in apprehending him because all the officers knew what to look for and within moments he was apprehended and taken into custody without incident,” Morrison said.
She said the suspect, later identified as 22-year-old Cortez Lammar Dallas of 90 Jericho Drive, walked into the gas station wearing all black with a black bandana covering his face and brandishing a handgun.
Dallas allegedly pointed the gun toward the clerk and demanded that he place the cash drawer from the register on the counter.
“He took the money from the drawer and left the store running on foot,” Morrison said.
The man was then seen getting into a dark-colored Honda Accord and heading toward Covington on U.S. Highway 278.
As a result, officers with the Covington Police Department were stationed at different points in an effort to intercept the vehicle.
Officer Leigh Taylor was patrolling on U.S. Highway 278 when she saw Dallas’ car, said CPD Capt. Philip Bradford. Taylor, along with other officers, began to follow the Honda as it continued west. As Dallas neared Mill Street, officers activated the blue lights on their cars.
“As he topped the hill at McDonald’s, about four more patrol cars were coming in the other direction with their blue lights. I think he was so overwhelmed at the show of force in that situation that he just pulled over and gave up,” Bradford said.
Dallas pulled into the parking lot around 9:20 p.m. where Ross Dress for Less is under construction at the corner of U.S. Highway 278 and Elm Street and put his hands up, Bradford said.
Officers placed him under arrest and found a black bandana on the front passenger seat. Dallas reportedly admitted he had a handgun in the glove compartment. Officers also found a large amount of cash in his pockets, the incident report states.
“With our regular patrol and specialized unit, we had a strong show of force,” Bradford said. “We had much rather have had that outcome. If a suspect sees a few more police cars and decides to give up and can be arrested without incident, that’s a perfect outcome. That’s a successful day for us.”
Dallas was transported to the Newton County Detention Center where he was charged with armed robbery.