Three people — two men and a woman — have been arrested on charges of armed robbery of a convenience store in Manor on Oct. 13, said Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal.
Cassidy Barney Finch, 42, Dickerson Street, Homerville, is charged with armed robbery, said Royal. He was the man in black who at gunpoint robbed the store of an undisclosed amount of money, said Royal.
Carlton Lamar Lewis, 39, of Crossroad Church Road, Pearson, and Relanda Renee Jewell, 44, of Hansel Road, Homerville, are both charged with being a party to the crime of armed robbery, said Royal.
Lewis drove a getaway vehicle in which Finch escaped while Jewell “worked from the inside” to help facilitate the robbery, Royal said. He said the investigation revealed that Jewell worked at the store as a clerk and left the job a day or two after the robbery.
He said Jewell provided pertinent information to Lewis and Finch about the inner workings of the store, when the best time to “hit the store” would be and where the money was kept.
“She knew that a large amount of money was inside the store and that it had not been taken to the bank for deposit,” said Royal. “She knew Lewis and through Lewis met Finch. She knew they were planning to rob the store. She was instrumental in giving them the information they needed to pull it off.”
The suspects were scheduled to appear before a magistrate this morning at 7:30 for a first appearance hearing, said Royal. They were in the Ware County jail after being booked on the charges Thursday afternoon.
Royal said that on Oct. 13 about 8:45 a.m., a man who was later identified as Finch, dressed all in black with his face partially covered, walked into a convenience store on the Valdosta Highway and pointed a semi-automatic pistol at the clerk and demanded money from the cash register.
After getting a significant amount of money, Finch left on foot walking behind the store and got into a vehicle waiting there that was driven by Lewis.
“We began to interview other clerks at the store to see if anyone had seemed suspicious in the days prior to the robbery,” said Royal. “Through those interviews, we learned that one clerk, Jewell, had separated her employment shortly after the armed robbery. During interviews with her we learned of the two men, and the person driving the car was identified as Lewis. We located Lewis and interviewed him. Through that interview, we learned about Finch and took him into custody.”
Royal said both Jewell and Lewis have been cooperative but that Finch has not.
Royal said on the day in question, the man walked into the store, pointed a pistol at the clerk and commanded him to put his hands in the air.
“The clerk followed the robber’s commands and opened the register. He said he could feel the brunt of the barrel of the gun against his back,” Royal said.
Sgt. Michael Ray used his tracking dog, Thor, to trail the man’s footsteps across the railroad tracks and onto Suwannee Chapel Road but the trail was lost there.
“We now know that at that point he got into a vehicle,” said Royal.
Deputies Ethan Murray, Sgt. Robert Weekly, Sgt. Ray and Detective Hope Salinas were the initial responders on the case.
Detective Sgt. Mike Thrift followed the case through to the arrests of the three, Royal said.