By Ed Brock
Officers with a special Clayton County task force have arrested two suspects in a string of robberies in Clayton and Henry counties and identified a third.
Police arrested the first of the suspects, Deonte Duval Gay, 21, of Stockbridge, around 6:30 p.m. Monday near a business on Ga. Highway 138 in Stockbridge, according to Clayton County Assistant Police Chief Jeff Turner. The officers found a 9 mm pistol on Gay's person along with a skeleton mask, baseball gloves and a blue bandana that had been identified as being worn by suspects in about 10 robberies in the area.
Gay admitted to participating in three robberies and identified Cameron Dyonn McGhee, 19, as his co-perpetrator in those robberies. McGhee lived in the same apartment complex as Gay.
Gay and McGhee identified the third suspect, 26-year-old Ronnell Middlebrooks of Conley. They told police that Middlebrooks was staying in a room at the Best Western hotel on Highway 138 that was rented by a man named Ronald Cook. Cook, who is from New Orleans, was renting the room for Middlebrooks using a FEMA voucher, according to Clayton County Detective Tom Martin.
Gay and McGhee were charged with two counts of armed robbery and two counts of aggravated assault each. Middlebrooks is in Henry County jail on armed robbery and drug charges, the latter being related to a search of the hotel room where Middlebrooks was staying.
The robberies occurred at the Days Inn on Hanover Parkway, the La Quinta Inn & Suites on Cameron Parkway, the Philly Connection on Highway 138, the Mobile Station on Mt. Zion Road and a BP gas station, all in the Stockbridge area.
Turner said that when Gay was arrested he was preparing to rob a nearby Taco Bell. The officers who made the arrest are part of the Anti-Robbery/Burglary Suppression Task Force that the department forms at Christmas time.
“Every holiday season we put officers out because armed robberies go up,” Turner said.