NEWS RELEASES

Posted on: July 6, 2017

Suspect Arrested in Robbery Investigation

Sheriff Newell Normand announces the arrest Willis Thomas, B/M, 25, of 2425 West Sunnymeade Drive in Harvey. Thomas was booked into the JPCC on one count of First Degree Robbery. Thomas has a prior arrest for shoplifting and resisting an officer.


On Wednesday, July 5, 2017, at 04:08am our officers responded to a report of a robbery at the business of Magnolia Express, located

at 1020 Seven Oaks Blvd, in Bridge City.  Patrol personnel learned from the victim, that a black male inquired about making a purchase from within the store. The suspect walked to the cooler, picked up several items and then returned to the check out counter. Upon placing the items on the counter, the suspect proceeded to walk behind the counter. After being told he could not be behind the counter, the suspect told the victim to "shut up, give me the cash or I'm gonna shoot you." The victim advised he did not see a weapon, but did as he was instructed, believing the suspect was armed. As the victim removed the US currency from the cash register, he handed it to the suspect, who then walked to the register, grabbed an unknown amount of coins and fled from the business.


A description of the suspect and his clothing was provided to the officers. The incident was captured on the store's video surveillance cameras. Later that morning, Robbery Detective Justin Jerry conducted the follow-up investigation into this robbery. Detective Jerry reviewed the video footage of the robbery and captured an image of the suspect, as well as the articles of clothing he was wearing during the robbery. Detective

Jerry was also able to develop information on the vehicle used by the suspect. The registered owner of that vehicle was Willis Thomas. Upon reviewing a photo of Thomas, along with the images captured during the robbery, Detective Jerry was confident the suspect who committed the robbery was Willis Thomas.


Robbery Sergeant Wayne Rumore and Detective Edgardo Castro traveled to Thomas's address on West Sunnymeade. As Sgt. Rumore and Detective Castro arrived, they observed Thomas exiting his residence. Thomas was taken into custody without incident an arrested for several outstanding attachments. During his arrest, Thomas was wearing the same Nike tennis shoes the suspect wore in the robbery. Investigators also located his Nissan Titan truck parked at the location.


Thomas was transported to the Investigations Bureau for questioning. Once there, Willis Thomas confessed to committing the robbery and traveling to the location in his Nissan Titan. He explained that he used the money for personal reasons. Thomas also positively identified himself from photographs taken on the store's surveillance cameras from inside of the Magnolia Express.


Colonel John N. Fortunato

Public Information Office

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