Update on armed robbery: Items found to link suspect to the crime
On Tuesday morning at 10:17am, Picayune Police officers were dispatched to Check into Cash, located at 807 Highway 11 South B, Picayune, in response to an armed robbery in progress. Upon arrival at the scene, officers spoke with an employee who told officers that a black male between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall, wearing a camouflage shirt, dark pants, a black ski mask, and holding a black and silver weapon, believed to be pistol, entered the business. The subject displayed the weapon, and demanded money, at which time an undetermined about of money was given to the suspect, and the suspect fled the scene.
According to Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri, officers and detectives with the Picayune Police Department, as well as deputies from the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department, were immediately in the area and were able to setup and secure a perimeter from South Haugh Avenue to Mitchell Street to Bales Avenue.
A short time later, an officer patrolling inside the perimeter, observed a black male matching the description of the suspect coming over a fence in the 400 block of Woodglen Cove. The suspect was trying to cross over to Mitchell Street via a concrete ditch that leads to a culvert that would have led to East Canal Street and possibly broken the perimeter. The officer yelled for the suspect to stop, but the suspect went back over the fence and headed toward Arbor Gate Apartments.
The officer notified other officers via radio that the suspect was headed toward Woodglen Cove and Arbor Gate Apartments. As the suspect made his way back toward that area, he eventually crossed through a fence at Grande Oaks Apartments. Officers were already deployed in the area and apprehended the suspect as he came through the fence at 10:44am. The suspect, identified as Craig McDonald, age 38, of 1219 Fern Drive, Picayune, was found to be in possession of a large amount of cash, but the camouflage shirt, ski mask, and weapon were not on him at the time of his capture.
McDonald asked for medical assistance and an ambulance was dispatched to take the suspect to Highland Community Hospital where he chose not to cooperate with treatment upon his arrival. McDonald was then transported back to the Criminal Justice Center and was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest by fleeing.
Police personnel began to search the entire area around both Arbor Gate and Grand Oaks Apartments looking for the camouflage shirt, the ski mask, and a possible weapon. While looking inside vehicles (from the outside through windows) at Grande Oak Apartments, officers observed a vehicle that had a green camouflage shirt and a black ski mask with a knife underneath it in plain view. The vehicle containing the items was a green Toyota Sequoia SUV with a Harrison County, MS license plate. Officers ran a check on the tag and the vehicle was registered to the suspect, Craig McDonald.
A wrecker was called and the vehicle was transported to the Criminal Justice Center. Police officers obtained a search warrant to get the evidence that was in plain view and then searched the vehicle. The search recovered the camouflage shirt, a black ski mask, and a black & silver kitchen style knife believed to be the weapon used in the robbery. Officers lifted up the middle row seat and found a large amount of cash matching the amount taken from Check into Cash during the robbery. Additionally, the officers found a large cookie of crack cocaine, that when broken up, is sold on the street in smaller pieces.
McDonald was then additionally charged with armed robbery and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
Magri stated that on behalf of himself and Chief Bryan Dawsey, “we want to thank all of our officers and investigators involved in the capture and investigation of the armed robbery. We also want to thank the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance in responding and helping us quickly solve this robbery case here in our city and to quickly apprehend the suspect.”