Thursday, May 25, 2006
Armed robbery suspect caught in county
By SUE WATSON
An armed robbery suspect sought by DeSoto County and Southaven authorities was apprehended Wednesday about 4 p.m. in a wooded area near Byhalia after some 30 law officers undertook a search, according to Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson.
Robert Cockrell, 42, of 5356 Lakeview Cove in Walls, had evaded arrest on more than one occasion and had resisted arrest in Memphis regarding warrants being served on charges of armed robbery, he said.
Dickerson was notified by the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department and Southaven Police Department they had good reason to believe Cockrell was staying in a house on Pine Hill Road, off Tunstall Road, southeast of Byhalia, he said.
“They also indicated Cockrell had forcefully taken a white, 1990 Mustang car in the Memphis area, reportedly bearing Tate County, Miss. license plates,” said Dickerson. “Officers of the state and federal jurisdiction including U.S. Marshals from the Tennessee area, Memphis Police officers, Southaven, Horn Lake, Olive Branch and Byhalia Police officers, myself and officers with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and a DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office helicopter participated in the manhunt.”
A thorough search of the house Cockrell was believed to be staying in and the surrounding grounds on Pine Hill Road produced no results, Dickerson said. Then, about an hour after the search of the house and area concluded, a white Mustang was spotted on Tunstall Road west of the area by a uniformed patrol officer with DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department, Dickerson said.
“The officer pursued the white Mustang, which fled at a high rate of speed estimated to be around 100 miles per hour, and turned off Tunstall to Pine Hill Road,” he said. “During the pursuit, the right front tire blew on the car and the suspect continued running on the right front wheel for several hundred yards, finally stopping and leaving the car parked in the middle of Pine Hill Road. He jumped out of the car and fled into a wooded area located behind several residences on the east side of Pine Hill Road.”
Dickerson, his officers and DeSoto County officers immediately pursued the suspect on foot some 200 feet into the woods from the Mustang.
Cockrell was arrested without further incident and taken to the Marshall County jail. The Mustang was also recovered and will be released to the lawful owner after the vehicle is processed, Dickerson said.
Cockrell was charged in Marshall County with grand larceny relative to the theft of the 1990 Mustang in Memphis, he said. Cockrell also faces an undetermined number of armed robbery counts in Tennessee. The ongoing investigation includes other possible robberies in the Southaven area which Cockrell may have been connected with, Dickerson said.
The suspect is being held on $100,000 bond due to the nature of the pursuit and the previous charges in Tennessee, he said.
“Once the investigation is completed relative to the robbery charges in Tennessee, there is a high probability we may retire the car theft charges in Marshall County and proceed with extradition to return the suspect to Tennessee where he will face more serious charges,” Dickerson said. The taking of the Mustang was described as a carjacking because it was forcefully taken, he said.
A white female in Cockrell’s company was also taken into custody at Marshall County jail, where she is being held for investigative purposes, Dickerson said. Officers from the Memphis Police Department interviewed the female Thursday in an effort to obtain any information that may be helpful to the investigation, Dickerson said.
The identity of the female is being withheld due to the fact that no charges have been made against her either in Mississippi or Tennessee, he said.
During the search of the house on Pine Hill Road, officers found evidence of some recent use of crystal methamphetamine and other illegal drugs by someone, Dickerson said.
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