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Robbery suspect arrested in Tupelo

January 25, 2011

By BRIAN HAWKINS
sdneditor@bellsouth.net

A suspect in last week’s holdup at a west Starkville McDonald’s was arrested in Tupelo and is now in local custody.
James White, 34, of 179 County Road 30, Houston, remains jailed on a $110,000 bond on charges of armed robbery and conspiracy to distribute narcotics following his arrest in Tupelo within the last few days. White was arrested with the assistance of the Tupelo Police Department’s Special Operations Group, Starkville Police Department detectives said.
White’s bond was set by Municipal Court Judge Rodney Faver in an initial court appearance Monday night.
The holdup in which White is charged occurred just after 4 a.m. last Wednesday at the McDonald’s located at the Spirit convenience store on Highway 12 West directly across from the main entrance into the Starkville Crossing Shopping Center.
Police were called at 4:09 a.m., with officers arriving on the scene in less than a minute, said SPD Detective Scotty Carrithers, who is investigating the case, last week.
The suspect had already fled the immediate area by the time officers arrived, said Carrithers.
The suspect — a light-skinned male whose ethnicity has not been verified — entered the restaurant from its east door wearing what SPD detectives believe was some sort of hooded jacket and a bandanna on his face. The suspect was described as being over 6 feet tall with an athletic to muscular build, Carrithers said.
Pulling a handgun of unspecified style and caliber, the man confronted the manager, who was working with a male employee to open the McDonald’s for business for the day, Carrithers said. After forcing the manager to the floor and taking the cash, the suspect fled on foot and was seen heading north toward Highway 12.
Police have not yet determined whether he might have had a car parked nearby to escape the area, said Lt. Mark Ballard.
The McDonald’s manager and employee, “while visibly shaken and upset,” were not injured in the incident, Ballard said.
Some physical evidence was recovered at the restaurant, but neither Carrithers nor Ballard would comment on what was recovered, including whether officers had recovered security video footage of the incident or any fingerprints the suspect may have left behind.
On Monday, neither Ballard nor Carrithers would comment on the evidence developed in the investigation that led them to identify White as a suspect. Ballard did say the investigation into the robbery is continuing and that more arrests are expected.
Anyone who may have seen anyone suspicious or who has information about the incident is encouraged to contact the SPD at 323-4131 or Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800-530-7151. All Crime Stoppers tips are confidential and could result in a reward of up to $1,000 for the caller if the tip results in an arrest in this case or any felony crime.

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