Five charged with Wal Mart parking lot robbery

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) – Five brazen criminals are now behind bars.

20 year old Cordarious Hill, as well as 17 year old Antonio Rashad Johnson, Shonquez Franklin, Tyrone Antwn Salter, and Damitri Vasquez Young are in custody after a two-part robbery spree that begin in Dothan's North side Wal-mart Parking lot.

A female was walking in the parking lot and was approached by two of those suspects. She was struck in the head with a handgun, and the suspects grabbed her wallet and fled.

Later, Houston County authorities got word of another armed robbery at an apartment complex in Kinsey.

The vehicle description matched the description of the car in the Wal-Mart robbery, and from there authorities linked the two robberies together.

Yet another armed purse snatching that happened back on Sunday night at the Wiregrass Commons Mall is still under investigation.

The common thread—all the victims were women.

Captain Antonio Gonzales from the Houston County Sheriff's Office says, "They seem to appear to be easier targets for the assailants.  And because of that, their chances of being victims to these armed robberies are higher, especially at late night shopping centers."

With our 24/7 lifestyles, it's hard not to visit stores after dark, but authorities say, if you must, make sure you're always aware of your surroundings and if possible, don't go alone.

Gonzales said, "Go with your husband, go with your boyfriend, your friends, or even a group of friends.  It's like nature. When you have one lone individual, they're an easy prey"

Dothan resident Jacqueline Culver says hearing about the crimes made her fear for her safety.

"I'm thinking about not going shopping at night, especially with my small kids."

She plans to be extra vigilant in reporting anything that looks suspicious in parking lots.

Authorities echo that.

They say, thanks to witnesses at the scene of the Wal-Mart robberies, the Dothan Police Department was able to quickly find those five suspects.

All were booked in the Dothan City Jail and were transferred to the Houston County Jail.

Bond was set at 200,000 on Cordarious Hill and the juveniles were charged as adults with a $100,000 bond each.

©2010 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.