POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- The investigations into the recent armed robberies of two Taco Bell restaurants resulted in four Poplar Bluff residents being charged in Stoddard County.
Stephanie Nicole Parkison, 26, and Brittany May Cannon, 20, were charged Tuesday with first-degree robbery and the unclassified felony of armed criminal action by Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Russ Oliver, who filed the same charges Wednesday against Milton Roy Taylor III, 22, and Tori Marie Taylor Flanigan, 18.
They are accused of robbing the Dexter, Mo., Taco Bell at gunpoint Monday night.
Associate Circuit Judge Joe Satterfield issued warrants for the four and ordered they be held without bond, indicating on the warrant each was a danger to the community.
At about 12:05 a.m. Tuesday, Dexter Police officers responded to a report of a robbery having occurred about 10 minutes earlier at the Taco Bell on Business 60.
Officers, according to Detective Trevor Pulley's probable cause statements, were told there were possibly two suspects, wearing all black and possibly in a silver or gray Pontiac Grand Prix.
The employees also reported a handgun was displayed during the alleged robbery, Pulley said.
"Employees stated they were inside the business when they both heard 'noises' inside or around the building, so they were trying to locate where the noises were coming from," Pulley said. "Employees advised they exited Taco Bell to locate the noises."
Pulley said the employees reported when they re-entered the business via the rear door, "two subjects came at the them with a gun pointed at them.
"The employees stated the suspects ran past them and out the rear door," running eastbound in a straight line toward a tree line east of Taco Bell.
The employees, he said, described the gun as being silver in color.
Pulley said one employee reported her cellular telephone was stolen, as well as some money from the business.
Upon processing the scene, Pulley said, officers found money had been stolen from the safe and a cash drawer at the drive-through window.
An employee, Pulley said, had seen a silver colored Grand Prix parked north of the restaurant's Dumpster at 9 p.m., 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
"Just after the two suspects exited Taco Bell, the same vehicle drove around back and left" the parking lot, Pulley said.
Suspect information, he said, was developed and relayed to surrounding agencies.
A 2002 silver Pontiac, which matched the description provided, was located at about 2:55 a.m. Tuesday heading southbound on Westwood Boulevard near Northwood Drive.
The car was being operated by Parkison and Cannon was a passenger. Both were taken to the police department for questioning.
During the interviews, Pulley said, Parkison admitted she and Cannon were "responsible" for the Taco Bell robberies at Dexter and an earlier one in Poplar Bluff on Feb. 28.
Parkison, Pulley said, also implicated Taylor and Flanigan in the Dexter robbery
"Stephanie advised Milton drove the vehicle, and Tori and her entered the Taco Bell and stole the money," Pulley said.
Cannon, who was a former employee, distracted the employees and unlocked the door, according to Poplar Bluff Lt. David Sutton. "She drew them to the back of the store and left.
"Parkison and Flanigan entered the store through the unlocked door."
According to Sutton, all four were "actively involved in the planning and execution of the robbery."
Pulley said Cannon admitted to purchasing a BB gun at the Poplar Bluff Walmart Supercenter, and it, along with another one, were used to allegedly rob the Dexter business.
Through Walmart's video surveillance, Sutton said, officers were able to confirm the BB gun was purchased there Sunday night.
Pulley said Cannon implicated Parkison, Taylor and Flanigan.
"Brittany stated her role was to make sure the side door was still unlocked when she left the business after visiting with the employees she used to work with," Pulley said. "(She) advised she left walking, and Milton picked her up, and then located Stephanie and Tori and drove to Fisk."
Pulley said Cannon reported they threw the BB guns out of the car.
"Brittany advised they went to Tori and Milton's residence, and the money was split up, and they bought some heroin," Pulley said. "(She) advised after they did the heroin, they left and were pulled over and arrested."
A portion of the stolen money from the Dexter Taco Bell was found in a safe, containing papers belonging to Cannon, inside Parkison's car, Pulley said.
"Also located was a small backpack, which appears to be the same backpack observed in the surveillance video being used by the suspects to steal the money," Pulley said.
Based on the information provided by Parkison and Cannon, Poplar Bluff Detective J.R. Keirsey said, officers went to the residence in the 100 block of Begley, where Taylor and his girlfriend Flanigan, lived.
Both, he said, were "picked up on an investigation detention."
Officers, Keirsey said, secured the residence while a search warrant was obtained. It was executed at about 12:15 p.m., he said.
"We didn't really find anything in reference to the robbery there," Keirsey said. "They had plenty of time to get rid of (any evidence)" after Parkison and Cannon were arrested.
Taylor and Flanigan, he said, were arrested after suspected drug paraphernalia was found inside the home.
Both were taken to the police station, where they invoked their rights and didn't speak to officers.
It is believed Parkison, Cannon and "two other (people) yet to be identified" were involved in the Poplar Bluff robbery, Sutton said.
"Cannon was involved as a lookout; she didn't enter the store here," Sutton said. "We've got leads we need to follow up on (in regards) to the other two."
Poplar Bluff, MO