Banks County Sheriff Carlton Speed says a joint operation between his investigators and personnel from Athens-Clarke County Police Department has resulted in four arrests in Thursday-morning's armed robberies in Homer and Athens.
Speed identified those arrested as Dillon Alonzo Harper, 18, formerly of the Commerce area, who was arrested at 140 Hollow Ridge Drive, Athens; Ladarius Clark, 17, who was arrested at 1400 Town Square in Athens. The men are incarcerated at the Clarke County Jail charged with armed robbery, with additional charges pending.
Two juveniles, ages 15 and 16, also were detained in Athens, Speed said. They are being held at the Regional Youth Detention Center in Gainesville charged with armed robbery, with additional charges pending.
The investigation began early Thursday morning after three armed individuals entered Golden Pantry in Homer and held the clerk at gunpoint while taking an undetermined amount of cash and merchandise, Speed said.
The Banks County armed robbery occurred at 12:44 a.m., then Athens-Clarke police responded to an armed robbery at Golden Pantry on Barnett Shoals Road around 3:30 a.m. Thursday.
According to a social media post by Athens-Clarke County Police, a Golden Pantry employee said she was at the drink station when someone came up behind her and placed a gun to her head. She was ordered to open the registers and she complied.
"Two males held her at gunpoint while a third male took an undisclosed amount of money," the post reads. "The suspects then left the store. The suspects, race unknown, wore red bandanas over their faces."
Information released by the Athens-Clarke police indicates two suspects wore grey sweaters and grey pants, while the third suspect wore a black jacket.
"This is a great example of law enforcement coming together to take dangerous criminals off the street," Speed said. "The Banks County Sheriff's Office and Athens-Clarke County investigators spent numerous hours since early Thursday morning tracking down these individuals to bring them to justice."