By Kathy Jefcoats
JONESBORO — An armed robbery suspect made his first appearance in Clayton County Magistrate Court Thursday.
Trevance Elliott Currie of Decatur told Clayton County Magistrate Judge Richard Brown he has his own attorney after Brown told him he qualified for a public defender. Brown denied bond for Currie, who is being held in the Clayton County Jail, because of the seriousness of the charges and because Currie is on probation.
Currie's next court appearance is April 5 when he can be reconsidered for bond, said Brown. His preliminary hearing was set for March 28.
Police said Currie stole the truck of a man who hired him as a day laborer and robbed another man parked next to him in a McDonald's parking lot near I-75.
Lt. Marc Richards said police arrested Currie, 43, Wednesday and charged him with armed robbery, motor vehicle theft and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and during the commission of a crime. According to Georgia Department of Corrections, Currie was most recently released from prison in September 2011 after serving more than 12 years for robbery, armed robbery and motor vehicle theft.
Richards said Currie was picked up at a hardware store near I-285 and Jonesboro Road in Atlanta Wednesday by someone looking for a day laborer. On the way to the work site, Currie allegedly told the driver he was hungry so the man stopped at McDonald's at Mt. Zion Boulevard and Mt. Zion Parkway.
Richards said the driver got out of his black Chevrolet Avalanche, leaving Currie inside with the keys. While the driver was inside the fast food restaurant, Currie allegedly used a handgun that was inside the truck to rob a man parked next to him. Richards said Currie then drove off in the Avalanche.
Police responded to the area on the ground and by helicopter about 2:40 p.m. to search the area for the truck, said Richards. The search was aided by a newly-formed Tactical Investigative Enhanced Robbery Unit, known as TIGER. Richards said TIGER is a pro-active patrol unit used to suppress robberies.
The TIGER unit uses information from the Clayton County police TITAN program to pinpoint crimes and criminals so the opportunity to commit robbery is reduced, he said. Officers with the Aviation Unit found the truck parked in a hotel parking lot and the TIGER unit located Currie on the third floor of the hotel, said Richards.