Police nab armed robber
Published 10:36 am Tuesday, May 21, 2013
A Minter woman has been arrested after she brazenly robbed an elderly woman in an aisle of the Greenville Walmart.
The Greenville Police Department has charged LaToya Shunta Simmons, 31, with robbery, first degree, after she was caught robbing a shopper on the store’s surveillance video.
“The suspect approached the victim and grabbed her by the arms and told her that she had a gun, and to hand over her purse or she’d shoot her,” Lt. Justin Lovvorn said. “She then grabbed the purse and ran out of the store.”
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Authorities used the surveillance video to print out still photos of the suspect and distributed them to Walmart’s employees.
“We wanted to make sure that if she came back in the store the employees would recognize her and give us a call,” Lovvorn said.
The move paid off. Just two days after Thursday’s robbery, Simmons returned to the store.
“We got a call from Walmart, but before we could get to the store she had left again,” Lovvorn said. “We were able to get a good description of the vehicle, and Officer (Thomas) Halford spotted the car on Fort Dale Road heading north and made the stop. We brought her in and after a lengthy conversation she confessed to the robbery.”
According to Lovvorn, there is no evidence that Simmons actually had a gun during the robbery, but simply saying she had a gun qualifies the incident as an armed robbery.
“Whether she had it or not, it’s the same,” he said.
Lovvorn said authorities were able to recover a portion of the victim’s property after Simmons was taken into custody.