MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It happened in broad daylight in a quiet part of town at the fork of Narrow Lane and McInnis. Suspected robbers hit the United Food and Fuel convenience store.
"One of them jumped the counter, another one went around the counter," said Lt. Keith Barnett.
An obvious and clear desperate attempt to get cash. In this case, hundreds of dollars. But why the boldness, why the risk of earning what could amount to years in prison if they're convicted of armed robbery?
Bryan: "Do you have a confession?"
Barnett: "We haven't been able to get a statement from them just yet," said Barnett.
Until then one can only speculate.
"We can't rule out the fact that it may be the bad economy. It may be one reason," said Capt. Huey Thornton of the Montgomery Police Department.
Even if that was the case, Essie Brown says nothing justifies this. It was Brown, the eyewitness who provided police the critical link that led to the suspects capture. She told investigators the direction the two men fled in.
"People work hard for what they have and they can work, too," Brown said of the suspects.
30 minutes after the crime and less than 2 miles away, police caught the two men off a dirt road. Both were brought back to the store so the clerk and the manager could identify them. It's a long-standing practice by police, supported by the courts.
"The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that within a short period of time we can bring the subjects back to the crime so they can be identified," said Lt. Barnett.
Regardless of what their motives were people like the clerk, the manager and Essie Brown witnessed the suspects attempt to get easy money. Even more damaging is the company says every bit of the alleged crime was captured on surveillance video.
Police charged 21-year old Desmond Nelson and Nelson's alleged accomplice 20-year old Donald Sankey with armed robbery.