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Police: Suspect confessed to 2 robberies

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

A Hampton man was being held on $50,000 bond in the Henry County Jail Friday, for allegedly stealing $20 from a local restaurant.

Authorities said before they were able to apprehend the suspect, he confessed to two crimes. Tromethus Seon Brooks, 27, is charged with robbery. The suspect appeared Thursday in Henry County Magistrate Court, represented by the Public Defender's Office.

Judge Robert Godwin bound Brooks' case over to Superior Court.

The charge against the suspect stems from an incident, which allegedly occurred Wednesday, inside the Blimpie restaurant, at 108 Woolsey Road in Hampton.

Hampton Police Lt. Derrick Austin said a second warrant was expected to be taken out against Brooks, for a robbery the same day at the Kangaroo gas station, at 32 E. Main Street.

Austin said Brooks came into the gas station at approximately 2:26 a.m., and asked a female clerk for help with a hot-dog roller in the store. "He drew her attention away from the counter," said Austin. "He then went behind the counter and stole several packs of cigarettes and scratch-off lottery tickets," Austin said.

The lieutenant said when the clerk discovered what Brooks was doing, she confronted him. "He then tried to give her the cigarettes back, and she said, 'No, I'm calling the police,'" Austin continued. "He pushed her down and ran from the store."

The incident at the Blimpie restaurant occurred at approximately 9 p.m., Wednesday. According to a Hampton Police report by Officer Bruce Mims, an employee at the restaurant told police that a black male came into the store "acting suspicious."

"[The suspect] let other customers go in front of him in line," Mims wrote. "Once other customers had been attended to, he approached the counter and asked [the employee] if he had enough money to break a hundred dollar bill."

When the employee told Brooks he did not have the money, the report continues, the suspect asked for 20 one-dollar bills, which the employee pulled from the register and held in his right hand.

"The black male handed him a one-dollar bill, and as he went to take it with his left hand, the black male reached over the counter, [and] pushed him backwards while snatching $20 from his right hand," wrote Mims. "The black male then ran from Blimpie."

Police investigated at the scene, but did not immediately find evidence leading to a suspect in the case.

The following day, according to Officer Mims, Brooks came to the police department to confess to both robberies. "Brooks ... walked up to me and stated, 'Officer Mims, I took some things from the Kangaroo gas station, and I also snatched money from a guy working at Blimpie,'" the officer wrote.

The suspect was arrested and taken to the Henry County Jail. Public Defender Gary Bowman was not available for comment Friday.