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Off-duty officer at right place, right time to help arrest armed robber

Published 7:41am Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An off-duty police officer was in the right place at the right time on April 18 to help arrest an armed robbery suspect.

Thorsby Police officer Gaines Silas saw someone fleeing from the Dollar General off Seventh Street South in Clanton shortly before 9 p.m., and the off-duty officer gave chase.

The subject fled into a fenced area behind C and S Canopy and was unable to escape, as Silas and other responding officers took him into custody.

A short time later, a vehicle was stopped on County Road 47 by an Alabama State Trooper, who determined the driver was an accomplice of the suspect that had already been arrested.

Ronterrius Wright, 23, of Montgomery and Javante Johnson, 19, of Millbrook were both charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree theft of property.

Johnson is alleged to have taken money from the store at gunpoint with his face covered.

CPD Capt. David Clackley said Johnson dropped the weapon while fleeing. No shots were fired during the incident, and neither officers nor the suspects were harmed.

Both suspects had latex gloves in their possession when taken into custody, Clackley said.

“Officers also noticed that the cloth used to cover the face of the robbery suspect appeared to have been cut from the shirt the driver was wearing,” Clackley said. “This unique evidence was very helpful in connecting the two suspects.”

At least eight other law enforcement agencies are investigating whether Johnson and Wright were involved in similar incidents in their jurisdictions, Clanton Police officials said.

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