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Anonymous caller thwarts robbery
After receiving tip, police arrest suspect at Citi Trends
web 1007 robbery
Hinesville police respond to an attempted robbery Wednesday night at Citi Trends department store on Gen. Screven Way in Hinesville. - photo by Lewis Levine

An accused armed robber was taken by surprise twice Wednesday night when he tried to make off with a bag of cash from a Hinesville business.

As Citi Trends department store in the 200 block of West Gen. Screven Way was closing around 8 p.m., a patron in the parking lot called the police and reported seeing a man wearing a black mask and carrying a gun run into the store, according to an incident report filed by Hinesville Police Officer Jassen Garrett.

Garrett, who was near the store at the time, and several other officers responded to the call. Garrett approached the front of the store with his firearm unholstered.  Looking through the front door, he made eye contact with a customer, later identified as Derrick Orr, and, using hand gestures, the officer asked Orr whether the suspect still was in the store. Orr indicated that the suspect was behind the registers. As additional officers arrived, they positioned themselves in front of the store and at the rear exit. 

At one point, officers motioned to Orr to exit the store. He did and was cleared. Garrett said he noticed the suspect head to the back of the store with assistant manager Rebecca Brimer.

As the suspect exited the store using a rear door, he was met by officers with their firearms drawn. He reportedly turned around, re-entered the building and ran for the front door, but officers already had made their way into the store and were hustling the remaining customers and employees outside.

As the officers who had come in the front approached the storage rooms with their firearms drawn, the suspect reportedly ran back into the store, nearly colliding with the officers who had come in the back. Officers ordered the suspect to the ground and arrested him.

The suspect later was identified as David Sanchez, 20, of Hinesville. He has been charged with armed robbery, kidnapping and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. 

HPD Detective Jeff Davis said Sanchez was found to be in possession of a bag containing a large amount of cash and a weapon. Sanchez first appeared before a magistrate judge Thursday and was denied bond. He is being held in the Liberty County Regional Jail in Hinesville.

“If it hadn’t been for that person making that call to 911, this situation might have turned out differently,” Davis said. “All it took was that one phone call.” 

Davis’ boss, Maj. Thomas Cribbs, agreed and said he hopes the caller will come forward to be recognized.

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