• 90°

Alleged sexual predator arrested

Thanks to some tips from eye witnesses, the Luverne Police Department was able to make a quick arrest in a recent robbery.

Darren Smiley, 27, of Luverne was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree sodomy after being positively identified as the subject that robbed a 67-year-old woman at Tom Thumb located at 432 South Forest Ave. in Luverne on Oct. 14.

"We wish to thank the witnesses who helped us in making the arrest as quickly as we did," Police Chief Bob Davis said. "We're pleased that we caught him as quickly as we did to bring this matter to a close. Not just for the victim, but the community as well."

Davis said the victim stated that she locked up the convenience store at approximately 3:30 a.m. to take out the trash when she was approached by a black male who robbed her at gunpoint of an undetermined amount of money. The victim was then sexually assaulted before being locked in the storage bin outside where she remained for about 10 minutes before freeing herself.

Smiley was arrested on foot at 9 a.m. the same morning on Hawkins Ave. in front of Valley Estates Apartments. The arrest was made without incident. Following the arrest, LPD officers recovered a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol and clothing believed to have been used in the robbery at the water pump station behind Valley Estates Apartments.

After a night in the county jail, Davis said Smiley confessed to the crime.

Smiley is currently in the Crenshaw County Jail pending bond.

The LPD is also currently investigating a burglary and theft after a 1991 Dodge Dakota pickup truck valued at $16,000 was reported stolen from 929 South Hawkins Ave. on Oct. 15 around 8:15 a.m.

The victim's home was also burglarized and an undetermined amount of money and a .22 caliber revolver were stolen.

"At this time the case is still under investigation," Davis said.

The two crimes are not believed to be related.