Crime Stoppers: Collegedale armed robbers lie to 911 operator
Collegedale is growing and, while major criminal activity is still infrequent, police are seeing an uptick. "We've had apartment buildings built being put up out here and a lot more people moving into the community," explained Collegedale Police Detective Brandon Allen. "So, with people, there comes crime."
Det. Allen takes us back to June 26th. "It's a Friday night, the Dollar General store on Main Street in Collegedale. They were getting ready to close for the evening." Our suspects waited until they were sure no customers remained, then entered the store. Surveillance video picks them up, a black male and a black female who look to be in their late-30's to early 40's. "The black female, she distracted the cashier asking for her cell phone," described the detective, "while the black male went and walked around the store and found the manager."
He forced the manager to take him to the safe. "He pulled a gun and told her that he needed her to open the safe," Allen added, "and if she did not open the safe there would be a murder."
The female of the duo enacted the second part of their plan. She used the clerk's cell phone to place a call to Hamilton County 9-1-1, reporting a fake crime at a different location. The bluff was an attempt to prolong the Collegedale police response time to the Dollar General by getting them to muster somewhere else.
With the robbery in progress, the female calmly lied to the operator, reporting she had witnessed an armed robbery on Lee Highway. "Four armed...yeah, it was four of them. Heavily armed. Super 8 Motel Ooltewah," said the woman on the call.
In that recording, there could be a clue to her identity. "The way she said 'Ooltewah,' explained Det. Allen. "Most people who are not from this town, this area, they can't pronounce it correctly and on the 911 tapes she pronounced it pretty well."
Have a good look at their photos. The surveillance images are pretty clear. "We're trying to get these two individuals off the street before they can do it again," the detective said.
There's up to $1,000 on the table if you can help identify these two. If you are worried about being found out, you should not be. We will never ask who you are. Not even if you get paid the reward cash.
Call Crime Stoppers: 698-3333.