Suspects charged in recent armed robberies
by James Phillips
Jan 26, 2011 | 6818 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A recent rash of armed robberies in Walker County has led several area law enforcement agencies to form a new task force to handle serious crimes.

The formation of the task force, made up of the Walker County District Attorney's Office, the Walker County Sheriff's Office and the Jasper Police Department, has already paid off with the announcement of arrests related to the robberies.

Adam Stimpson, 25, and Justin Taylor, 21, both of Oakman, have been arrested and charged with first-degree robbery stemming from eight different robberies in all areas of Walker County from Dec. 28 to Jan. 14.

Stimpson is being held in the Walker County Jail with no bond, while Taylor is currently being held in the Jasper City Jail with no bond. Two juvenile suspects have also been arrested, and police expect more arrests to be made in the coming days.

Jasper Police Chief Danny Patton said the cooperation between the three law enforcement agencies was essential in solving these robberies.

"Criminals have no jurisdictions. They will rob somewhere in Jasper or in the county. It doesn't matter to them," he said. "Working together within this task force allows us to do the same. We can pool together our resources and information to be able to better investigate cases. That's exactly what happened here."

Newly-elected Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair said he approached Patton and Walker County Sheriff John Mark Tirey with the task force idea only days before taking office.

"I feel like this is needed for these kind of serious crimes," Adair said. "It was merely a suggestion by me, but they took the idea and ran with it. I've been proud to be serving the citizens with them during this investigation."

For more than a week, members of the task force have spent many hours keeping watch over local convenience stores, expecting the suspects would hit again. Patton said between his office and the Sheriff's Office at least 30 extra people were working each night.

"All of these guys were working overtime," he said. "Most of them were working on their off days, and they didn't mind at all. I've never seen better cooperation between different agencies."

Police said leads were few in the early stages of the investigation.

"We didn't even have a solid vehicle description to go by," Adair said. "To have arrests this quickly is directly related to the cooperation between our agencies."

Tirey said the first break in the case came when a citizen recognized the voice of one of the suspects on footage taken from a store's surveillance system.

"That gave us some solid footing, and we connected other things as we went along," he said.

Adair said cooperation from the Jasper City Council and the Walker County Commission were also key in solving the case.

"Both of those groups, including the mayor and the chairman of the commission, were very supportive of what we were doing," he said. "For this group to be successful in the future, we definitely need the support of those two groups."

Despite the arrests, law enforcement officials are searching for pieces of physical evidence from the robberies. Police have recovered a firearm used in the crimes, but are searching for clothing possibly used in the robberies.

"We have some black and red gloves that we are looking for as well as some hoodies," Tirey said. "Anyone who finds anything that could have been used in the robberies should contact us immediately."

Anyone with information regarding the robberies should contact the Walker County Sheriff's Office at 205-302-6464 or the Jasper Police Department at 205-221-2121.