Morrow police link suspect to two bank robberies

Mitchell Jenkins

Mitchell Jenkins

MORROW — The bank robbery suspect who was arrested while refueling his car 10 minutes after a heist Wednesday at a Morrow Wells Fargo branch now has double trouble. Morrow Police said Thursday that they’ve linked him to another recent nearby Wells Fargo robbery.

Mitchell Jenkins, 42, of Lake City, has been charged with robbing a branch Wednesday at 7155 Jonesboro Road and another Oct. 5 at 6389 Jonesboro Road.

Morrow Police Capt. James Callaway cited Jenkins’ proximity to both branches, that he “lived on the 5500 block on Jonesboro Road, right down the street from both banks.”

Callaway said police examined video of the Oct. 5 robbery in building their case against Jenkins.

“He is not denying he robbed our Wells Fargo Bank, but he is not admitting to it either,” Callaway said. “But we have physical evidence to establish probable cause for the arrest.”

Callaway declined to give further details, saying police did not want to jeopardize the investigation.

The arrest was the third covering a rash of Clayton County bank robberies in two weeks. The Bank of America on Mt. Zion Road was robbed on Oct. 2 and Morrow Police charged Renard Stafford and Eddie Garnett. Police said Stafford was the getaway driver for Garnett, who was arrested more than 130 miles away in Richmond County and charged with robbing an Augusta SunTrust bank.

Jenkins didn’t get nearly that far, police said. He was arrested 10 minutes later.

“The robber fled from the Wells Fargo prior to officers arrival,” Clayton Police spokesperson Phong Nguyen said. “A description was given, and four or five of our officers saw him at the Shell gas station.”

Police swarmed the gas station located at the intersection of Tara Boulevard and Sherwood Drive.

“He was trying to elude officers by acting as though he was pumping gas,” Nguyen said. “While the officers were questioning him, he tried to flee on foot from them. However, he was apprehended shortly afterward.”

Police say there is more than Jenkins’ proximity to the Wells Fargo branches to tie him to the robberies.

“The suspect description sounded very similar to the City of Morrow robbery on Oct. 5,” Callaway said. “These two banks are less than three miles apart.”

Callaway said the suspect used the same getaway car, “an older model Cadillac DeVille,” in the bank robberies.

Callaway added that one of the banks is in the City of Morrow jurisdiction and the other is in Clayton County jurisdiction.

“Morrow Investigators went to the Clayton County robbery to look at similarities and learned that Clayton County Police had arrested the suspect on Tara Boulevard at Sherwood Drive,” said the captain.

“Clayton County Police Department did an outstanding job with the quick apprehension,” Callaway added. “We are glad to close these cases and announce that arrests have been made.”

Said Nguyen, “This is an ongoing investigation and there could be additional charges. We did contact the FBI, and both agencies are working on the case.”