Two charged in armed robbery, one is a college student - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Two charged in armed robbery, one is a college student


By Mike McDaniel - bio | email | Twitter

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) 24-year-old Richard Wells Jr., of Clinton, walked out of court Friday afternoon dressed much differently than the last time he was in the Hub city. Police say his outfit of choice Wednesday afternoon included a green ski mask as he robbed the Hattiesburg-Laurel Federal Credit Union on Hardy Street at gun point.

Luckily no one was hurt and police were on the hunt.

"We immediately started getting some responses from the public," said Hattiesburg Sergeant Synarus Green.

Green says a crime stoppers tip led police to the Island View Casino Hotel in Gulfport, where Wells was arrested Thursday and transported back to Hattiesburg. It wasn't long until police realized Wells didn't act alone.

"A lot of times in the commission we find that there's one person that does it but there's also somebody who may be a driver or is involved as far as gathering the information for that individual," said Green.

The alleged accomplice, who also went before a judge, is 24-year-old Alicia Smith of Hattiesburg, a senior a USM majoring in criminal justice.

"She was kind of the key lead player as far as coming up with the ideas and planning and saying that this might be a way to get a quick come up on some cash," said Green.

Smith was arrested Thursday at her home at Briarfield Apartments. Green says the two suspects had a prior relationship.

"I think they might have been involved on a personal level, but as of now we just know that they're friends," said Green.

After their initial appearance bond for Wells, who already has a felony conviction for possession of marijuana, was set at $250,000 on the armed robbery charge. He also had an outstanding charge of forgery and uttering where bond was set at an additional $25,000.

Bond for Smith, who was charged with accessory before the fact of armed robbery, was set at $75,000.

"Without that metro crime stoppers tip giving us that information it would have been more difficult for us to identify a suspect," said Green.

Both suspects will be appointed a public defender while they await their day in court. 

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