Suspect charged in robbery at Rhodes 101

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Following a month-long investigation laden with twists and turns, a suspect has been charged in connection with the Dec. 19 robbery at the Rhodes 101 convenience store at 1126 N. Sprigg St.

Darius L. Washington, 19, of Sikeston, Mo., faces a felony charge of first-degree robbery after being implicated for the crime by two witnesses.

According to a probable-cause statement written and signed by Darren Estes of the Cape Girardeau police department, the robbery occurred around 3:30 a.m. According to the clerk on duty at Rhodes, the suspect wore two dark blue bandannas over his face to mask his appearance.

Brandishing a black, 9 mm gun that the clerk said may have been a toy, the suspect demanded all the money, the statement said. The clerk placed the cash on the counter, hoping the suspect would touch the surface and possibly leave physical evidence. After taking the money, the suspect fled in the direction of the Show Me Center, where a police canine picked up his trail and followed it to the back door of a residence on New Madrid St.

A juvenile at the residence admitted to owning two still-damp blue bandannas that were found in the house. The juvenile was placed in police custody and interviewed, but would not cooperate. A week later, while still in custody at the juvenile detention center, a juvenile officer re-interviewed the juvenile, who implicated Washington in the robbery.

According to the sworn statement, the juvenile stated Washington told him Dec. 18 that he was going to commit a robbery and if he got caught, wanted him to "go down for it," because he would serve less of a sentence as a juvenile offender.

The night before the robbery, the juvenile and Washington stole a black BB gun from the Cape Girardeau Wal-Mart.

On Dec. 19, in the early morning hours, Washington left the New Madrid St. residence and returned, saying he had just robbed someone and thrown the gun down a sewer, the juvenile told police.

Another witness police interviewed said he was at the residence that night when Washington and the juvenile came running in the back door and said they had just "hit" Rhodes, the statement said.

According to the sworn statement, they told him that they used a .38-caliber pistol to accomplish the crime, and used some of the money from the robbery to purchase a money order at Schnuck's.

A warrant for Washington's arrest was issued last Friday. Bond for Washington is set at $100,000.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245

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