Columbus Police rushed to Creekstone Chevron in the 3900 block of Hwy 45 North around 4:45pm Tuesday after the store’s clerk reported he had just been robbed. The two suspects, Terry Walker and Larry Bell, were arrested less than ten minutes later in Monroe County.
The Chevron clerk told Police that a black male, believed to be Terry Walker, had entered the store wearing a “do-rag” on his head and told the clerk that he had an injury and needed to use the bathroom. Walker exited the bathroom and purchased a candy bar from the clerk [a witness on scene said it was a King Size Twix bar, but Columbus Police declined to confirm this-CK].
As the clerk opened the drawer of the cash register to give Walker his change, the bandit told him to put all of the money in the bag. The clerk then said Walker pulled a gun from his pants and threatend him with it. The clerk handed over an undisclosed amount of cash and Walker ran for the parking lot to his waiting get-away car, believed to be piloted by Larry Bell of Aberdeen.
An alert passerby noticed two black males fleeing the scene in a red Pontiac Grand Prix and relayed their location to E-911 operators. The good samaritin followed the robbers north on Hwy 45 until law enforcement caught up with them near the Monroe County line.
Columbus Police Sgt. Rick Jones headed north on Hwy 45 shortly after the call came in, and closed in on the suspects reported location as they reached Columbus Air Force Base. Mississippi Highway Patrolman Lawrence Lard noticed the fleeing Grand Prix fly by as he was issuing a citation to another driver near the Texaco station just south of CAFB and joined in on the pursuit.
Caledonia Town Marshal Larry Swearingen, having been notified of the chase by E-911 operators, witnessed the supects as they approached the Monroe County line and began pursuit. With Swearingen close behind, the fugitives raced north towards Aberdeen. Following Swearingen were Lowndes County Deputies Jake Humbers and Lt. Willie Jones, with Sgt. Jones mere seconds behind.
Somewhat serindipitously, the Lowndes County unit of the US Marshal’s Task Force was headed south on Hwy 45 when the call about the robbers came in. Marshals (and Lowndes County Deputies) Jeff Harris and Chad Bell made a quick turn-around, positioned themselves to block the fugitives and sucessfully forced Bell to pull over on the east side of the highway.
Dpty. Swearingen and Trooper Lard pulled up seconds later to help remove the men from the car.Walker and Bell exited the vehicle without incident and were brought to seperate waiting patrol cars. A revolver was taken off of Bell, along with an undisclosed amount of cash. As more Columbus Police arrived on scene, they were ordered to scour the roadside for any cash the perpetraitors may have thrown from the car as they were being pulled over. After a wad of cash was discovered in one of the suspect’s hats, it seemed more likely most of the cash was accounted for [approximately seven Bud Light beer bottles were seen strewn in the roadway about 1/3 of a mile south of the scene, but it was not apparent if the men tossed the beverages-CK]
Fitting with the afternoon’s activities, Bell wore a black shirt with white writing that proclaimed: “Scared money don’t make none.” The two showed little worry while fleeing north. Their top speed never exceeded 45 miles per hour.
Both men were pulled from the patrol cars where they waited and were fitted with leg shackles before being transported to LCADC. Columbus Police Department investigators L.T. Cockrell and Natashae Coleman-Brown arrived on scene to process all the evidence.
Terry Walker and Larry Bell, both of Aberdeen, were taken into custody and charged with Armed Robbery. MS Department of Corrections officials arrived near the end of the situation and it appeared that Bell was on Probation at the time of the crime. It has also been confirmed that Walker is a convicted felon.