Two arrested in armed robbery spree
by Jennifer Cohron
Mar 02, 2012 | 7091 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A series of armed robberies in the Jasper area ended Wednesday night with two suspects being taken into custody.

Steven Michael Johnson, 29, and Michael Justin Sargent, 27, both of Jasper, are being charged with first-degree armed robbery, according to Capt. Larry Cantrell of the Jasper Police Department.

Wednesday’s crime spree began when a white male wearing a cloth mask and carrying a long gun entered the Qwik Sak on Arkadelphia Road.

The suspect fled before collecting any cash but not before the clerk noticed him get into a white four-door car with a spoiler on the back.

Several minutes later, employees of Barbara Ann’s Too on Curry Highway reported an attempted armed robbery. Cantrell said the same vehicle was seen leaving the parking lot.

Within a half hour, the Quik Sak at the intersection of Highway 78 and the Cordova Cut Off Road was robbed.

Cantrell said the getaway vehicle was described as a red truck to the JPD dispatcher.

“Luckily, we had a private citizen who had a scanner, saw the truck leaving the store and followed it for a little while staying on the phone with our dispatcher to give updates on the truck’s location,” Cantrell said.

Law enforcement officials apprehended the suspects a short while later. Cash and a gun were also recovered.

Cantrell said that while only one of the suspects entered the stores, both will be charged with at least three counts of armed robbery with a fourth possible.

The additional charge will be related to a robbery that occurred at a local convenience store on Jan. 21.

“The same service station on Arkadelphia was robbed by a white male driving the exact same type of vehicle. We were able to get a couple of numbers on the tag, and the car they used last night had the same numbers on the tag,” Cantrell said.

Cantrell commended dispatcher Erin Roberts for her role in relaying information to the various agencies involved in the search for the suspects as well as the local citizen who got involved in the case.

“It was a real team effort to apprehend these guys,” Cantrell said.