Local armed robberies investigated
By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
April 9, 2001
A Meridian man is expected to make his initial court appearance today after Lauderdale County deputies charged him on Friday with the armed robbery of Brown's Grocery.
Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Mike Mitchell said Hubert Leech Jr., 25, of 2704 Valley Road, was charged with armed robbery after deputies located him two hours after the Highway 19 North convenience store robbery occurred.
The robbery happened around 2:30 p.m. Friday.
Mitchell said Leech allegedly walked into the store, told the clerk he had a weapon and demanded money. He fled the scene in a red car with about $200, Mitchell said.
Deputies then began a manhunt in the Collinsville area. Volunteer firefighters with the Collinsville VFD and residents aided law enforcement officials by manning radios and keeping an eye out for the suspect.
Leech was located on Wilson Dale Drive off Highway 19 North around 4:30 p.m. No weapon was found, Mitchell said. Leech was later identified by the victim, he said.
Leech, who faces charges in Neshoba County of burglary and other offenses, remains in the Lauderdale County Detention Facility on $25,000 bond.
Meanwhile, Meridian police continue their search for a gunman who robbed Fred's Dollar Store on Eighth Street around 8 p.m. Saturday.
Lt. Wade Johnson said the suspect was apparently in the store at closing time. The robber, who brandished what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun, confronted store employees and demanded money before binding them and a customer with tape, Johnson said.
The victims described the gunman as 6 feet tall with a stocky build, wearing a tan jumpsuit or coveralls with a red cloth or rag covering his face.
Any one with information is encouraged to call CrimeStoppers at 485-1860.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.