Live Oak —
The Dollar General store in Wellborn was robbed at gunpoint Wednesday night and authorities have arrested the three involved. Two of those will face charges for the armed robbery of the Family Dollar in Live Oak on April 4 and the Dollar General in White Springs in late March, officials say.
Vandell Devonta Dowels Jr., 16, 10826 SW 37th St., and Eric Kevontay Williams, 20, 706 SW 4th St., both of Jasper, are both being held in the Suwannee County Jail on four counts of armed robbery, four counts of false imprisonment and one count of grand theft for their involvement in the armed robbery at the Wellborn Dollar General store. The getaway driver, Eddie Lee Battles, 24, 3921 Robinhood Rd., Valdosta, is being held on one count of armed robbery, for his involvement.
White Springs Police Chief Ken Brookins stated Battles and Williams will both face charges there for three counts of armed robbery and three counts of false imprisonment, among other charges, for the March 27 armed robbery of the Dollar General in White Springs.
Live Oak Police Department Det. Justin Bates said that the two will also face charges in Live Oak for armed robbery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, wearing a mask during offense and felony theft for the April 4 armed robbery of the Family Dollar in Live Oak.
According to a Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office report, two store clerks were preparing to close the store in Wellborn when Dowels and Williams, both wearing bandanas over their faces, approached the store around 9 p.m. and told the clerks to “get in the store and give them all the money” at gun point. The report states that a father and his 11-year-old daughter entered the store shortly after the robbery began and were ordered to the back of the store at gunpoint by Williams. Once back there, the report states that the suspects took all of the adults’ cellular phones and wallets and instructed them “not to call the cops.”
The suspects fled the store in the vehicle Battles was driving.
A BOLO (be on the look out) was issued for the vehicle, with Georgia plates. A Hamilton County Sheriffs officer spotted the vehicle in that county traveling north on I-75 and conducted a traffic stop. The vehicle was then searched and a .9 mm pistol, two bandanas and clothing that matched the description of what the suspects were wearing were located. The report also stated that a Dollar General store bag that was found filled with cash was “consistent with what was stolen from the store”.
Vandell was read his Miranda rights on the scene. Both he and Williams admitted their involvement with the robbery. All three were initially transported to the Hamilton County Jail where they were read their Miranda rights again. Williams is a convicted felon and was in possession of a loaded pistol. Battles, the driver, also admitted that he drove “the two to the store for the purpose of the robbery” and waited for their return with the money to drive the getaway car. Although Williams was in possession of the .9 mm pistol, Battles admitted that it was his pistol and “allowed it to be used in the commission of the crime.” The men were then transported to Suwannee County Jail.
Suwannee County Sheriff Tony Cameron would like to thank the HCSO for their assistance.
“When we gave the information to HCSO, they jumped right on the interstate and within three to four minutes they had the vehicle stopped,” Cameron said.