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Mt. Juliet police seek suspects in armed robberies

Jake Old • Mar 20, 2017 at 11:59 AM

Mt. Juliet police have responded to multiple armed robbery incidents in recent days, and police believe the incidents may be related, according to reports from the Mt. Juliet Police Department. 

In each incident, the suspect was described as a thin black male, believed to be a teenager, though police believe there could be several suspects working together. 

On Monday morning, police began investigating an armed robbery that happened in the Hickory Hills subdivision, according to Mt. Juliet police Lt. Tyler Chandler. 

At about 11:40 a.m., a pizza delivery driver was robbed at gunpoint after making a delivery in the 2700 block of Leesa Ann Lane.

“As he was leaving the home and walking back to his car, he was robbed by a black male teen,” Chandler said. 

The suspect was armed with a handgun and demanded the victim’s wallet. No other items were taken in the incident, Chandler said. 

The robbery suspect was described as a thin black male, believed to be a teenager, wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt and red shoes. He was last seen running towards the woods off Leesa Ann Lane and New London Court. 

The suspect then apparently ran to a vehicle, and further information confirmed the suspect fled the neighborhood in a black small to mid-sized SUV. 

Citizens also reported hearing gunshots in the area at the time of the armed robbery, however it is unknown if the robbery and gunshots are connected. No one was injured during the incident. 

Police started an active search for the suspect on Monday in the immediate aftermath of the incident. Police searched for the suspect on foot with the help of K-9 search dogs from the Lebanon Police Department. The search was called off after a couple of hours.

Chandler said police canvassed nearby homes for surveillance video, and did find at least one home with security cameras. Police used the footage to get two still photographs of a suspect vehicle. 

Chandler said that anyone not contacted by police, but possibly with surveillance footage of the suspect, should contact the police department as soon as possible. 

Police believe the suspects spotted the delivery driver traveling to make a delivery and took the opportunity to rob the victim. Chandler said police think the suspects may have been driving around and “looking for a crime of opportunity” when they saw the pizza delivery driver. 

“Right now, detectives are trying to track the pizza delivery driver’s movements leading to the robbery,” Chandler said. 

Detectives do not believe this incident is connected to an unknown homeless man living in nearby woods involved in incidents over the weekend, according to Chandler. However, detectives do believe it is connected to another robberies that have been committed by armed teenagers approaching individuals in public in and near Mt. Juliet. 

On Sunday afternoon, Mt. Juliet police responded to an incident in which a teenager armed with a revolved rushed and robbed an adult woman of her purse in a grocery store parking lot, according to a report from the Mt. Juliet Police Department. 

At about 2:05 p.m., officers were called to Publix, located at 665 S. Mt. Juliet Road, in reference to the robbery, which happened in the parking lot. 

Further investigation revealed that a thin black male, believed to be a teenager, approximately 5-feet, 6-inches tall and wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, pointed a revolver and took a purse from an adult woman who had just gotten out of her vehicle. 

After committing the robbery, the suspect got into the passenger side of a 2008-2016 year model maroon Chrysler Town & Country minivan. 

Multiple officers responded to the area to search for the suspect and vehicle, but police believe they quickly left the area. 

It is also believed that these suspects were involved in an armed robbery outside of the Mt. Juliet city limits in a neighborhood, in which the suspect was armed with a shotgun. The suspect in that incident was described as a black male, believed to be a teenager, with curly black hair and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. 

Detectives believe there could be two or three teenagers or young adults involved in the area robberies. Detectives are working with other area departments to collaborate information. 

“It is very uncharacteristic of this neighborhood,” Chandler said of the crime. He said the police department urges residents to use caution if they believe they see the suspects, as they are armed and believed to be violent. 

“Approaching people with a handgun, that’s pretty violent, so we do believe that these individuals are violent, and they’re out to commit violent crimes,” Chandler said. 

Multiple officers have been scheduled to extra patrol in the area for the near future. Residents in the Hickory Hills subdivision will notice an increased police presence. 

Police do not know if the suspects are Mt. Juliet residents. They hope increased patrols will deter any further robberies in the area. 

“We hope the suspects don’t come back, but they possible will, so that’s why we’ll be out here with a lot of extra patrols,” Chandler said. 

Anyone with information regarding this crime should call the Mt. Juliet Police Department at 615-754-2550. Information can also be given anonymously by calling the tip line at 615-754-8477 or via the police department’s website at mjpd.org. 

Police are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.

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