Macon police make arrests in robberies

Macon police have charged five people in connection with five armed robberies between Dec. 13 and June 8.

Making the announcement Thursday, Chief Mike Burns said the number of reported armed robberies has been dropping since the end of February. The city saw a rash of 68 robberies in January and February.

Burns gave credit for the arrests to investigators, residents and the Operation Safe Business task force formed in February to target the robberies.

“I think more citizens are willing to get involved and help us get rid of crime in Macon,” Burns said.

He said Operation Safe Business has been downsized, but it is still operating.

Capt. Robert Grabowski said senior investigators are training younger detectives and “they’re putting the pieces of the puzzle together.”

Grabowski said more arrests are possible.

Three of the robberies occurred at Security Bank branches in Macon.

Bank spokesman Tom Woodbery said the bank applauds investigators’ efforts and urges customers to be aware of their surroundings when making night deposits.

“If something looks suspicious ... drive on by and report it to the police,” he said.

Arrested were:

- Jerald Leonard Johnson, 18, of Bloomfield Way, charged with criminal attempt to commit robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the attempted robbery of Sean Foods Mart, 2590 Rocky Creek Road, on May 27. He was arrested Tuesday and is being held at the Bibb County jail without bond.

Investigators are consulting with the District Attorney’s Office concerning two juveniles, ages 11 and 12, who also have been linked to the investigation, Burns said.

- Jamual Devero, 19, of Shea Drive, charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and criminal attempt to commit robbery in connection with two incidents at Security Bank, 2918 Riverside Drive.

Devero is accused of shooting at a Burger King employee at the bank Dec. 13 as the employee tried to make a deposit and robbing another Burger King employee who was making a deposit at the bank Jan. 4. He was arrested June 12 and was released on $14,150 bond Wednesday, according to jail records.

Grabowski said former Burger King employee 36-year-old Dana Natasha Hollingshed, of O’Hara Drive, is charged with fiduciary theft stemming from her knowledge that a bank bag would be taken in the Jan. 4 robbery. She was arrested Tuesday and was released the same day on $2,950 bond, according to jail records.

- Trenvino Kenmarcus Burnett, 29, of Mercer Road, charged with criminal attempt to commit robbery, auto theft and kidnapping in connection with the attempted robbery of two people at Sean Foods Mart, 2590 Rocky Creek Road, on May 29. He was arrested June 12 and is being held without bond at the Bibb County jail, according to jail records.

Warrants have been issued for 21-year-old Antonio Durham in connection with the case for auto theft, kidnapping and criminal attempt to commit robbery, Burns said.

- Maurice Hill, 23, of New Jersey, charged with armed robbery stemming from an incident at Security Bank, 4699 Log Cabin Drive on June 8. Macon police investigators received a tip from police in Tinicum, Pa., on June 11 that Hill had checked into a motel using cash covered in dye, according to police.

The clerk at the motel called local authorities, and police found that Hill had a large amount of money soaking in bleach in the motel’s bathroom, according to police.

Hill, who was visiting relatives in Middle Georgia at the time of the robbery, is awaiting extradition to Georgia.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.