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Warren County deputies nab robbery suspects in minutes

[06/28/01] Twenty minutes after a bank robbery in Yazoo County, Warren County deputies were behind the suspects, foiling what appeared to be their chances of slipping away on back roads.

The Yazoo County Sheriff’s Department received a call around 9 a.m Wednesday that three men had robbed the Bank of Bentonia, taking about $18,000. A bulletin was issued to neighboring counties to look for a maroon Chevy Blazer, Yazoo Sheriff James Williams said.

Deputy Bubba Comans of the Warren County Sheriff’s Department spotted such a vehicle on Highway 3, just inside Warren County, around 9:30 a.m., said Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace. Comans followed the car south to the junction with U.S. 61, when a second Warren County deputy, James Carter, joined in the pursuit around Redwood Road, Pace said.

The deputies followed the Blazer without using their sirens or lights because the suspects were considered armed and dangerous, Pace said.

The suspects continued south where deputies and three Vicksburg police officers boxed them in, just outside the city limits. The arrests were made without resistance around 9:48 a.m. in a convenience store parking lot near Blakely subdivision, Pace said.

Pace credited all the officers involved for alertness and teamwork and based the arrests on that plus an accurate description of the suspects and their car.

Charged were Martin Allen, 31, 110 Mosely Road, Bentonia; Issac Gerken, 20, Ohio, and Chadwick Engle, 20, Ohio. The money and a weapon were recovered. One suspect was also said to have a stocking in his back pocket.

Because robbing a bank is both a state and federal crime, either government can prosecute. The FBI took the three suspects to the Madison County Detention Center, FBI spokesman Debra Madden said.

Their initial appearance before a federal judge will likely be Friday, said Madden.