Verona armed robberies linked

Surveillance shot pulled from Nov. 23 armed robbery.

A Verona liquor store was robbed at gun point, twice during the month of November.

On Nov. 1, at 9:52 p.m. the Main Street Liquor and Wine store was held up, and then again, also by pistol, on Nov. 23 at 9:26 p.m. The liquor store is located at 222 Main Street in Verona.

“It’s either the same person or two people working together. We’re pretty confident about that,” said Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson.

During both occasions the same clerk was working at the store.

In the Nov. 1 robbery, the suspect was described as a black male, wearing a black jacket over a white hoodie with a white mask.

In the Nov. 23 incident, the perpetrator was described as black male, slim build, wearing a white hoodie and a mask.

“We had the video from the first robbery. The description of the suspect and the information we had was very limited and the quality of the video wasn’t great,” Johnson said. “You always start from the inside to see if there is something — which could be contributing, from the inside.

“The similarities are the size of the individuals, and the way they came in both times with weapon drawn.”

There are differences — the clothing isn’t exactly the same, their height appears different and from the still shots they have the gun in different hands.

“One comes in with the gun in one hand, the other with the other — but when you look at the full video — he did (both times) swap the gun to the strong hand, the right,” Johnson said.

Between the two robberies, management at the store added a safe drop, so the bulk of the money would be protected in a safe. Also a gun was placed behind the counter, which wasn’t present during the Nov. 1 encounter.

The second time the clerk said the robber came in, armed with a black pistol. He took money from the cash drawer. The robber then said, “Where’s the rest of it?,” while pointing to where the box of cash was stored last time. That’s when the robber stepped behind the counter, saw the store’s gun and shot the clerk in the leg with that gun.

“That’s what agitated the robber and you can almost see him thinking ‘well it wasn’t this way the last time I was here.’ And that’s when he shot the clerk,” Johnson said.

The clerk is at home recovering after being released from the North Mississippi Medical Center.

A reward is being offered by Crimestoppers and the owner of the store for information which leads to the arrest of the suspect/suspects. Crimestoppers can be reached at 1-800-773-TIPS or you can call the Lee County Sheriff’s Department at (662) 841-9040.

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