Trooper foils robbery -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Trooper foils robbery

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Albany Police are searching for several teens they say continue to terrorize south central Albany.

Their latest target was a 56-year old man collecting money in Southgate Plaza for his church.

An off-duty State Trooper saw the thieves strike. He chased the teens down and got the money back, but the teens got away.

The incident happened just two blocks from where a cleanup service was threatened at gun point two weeks ago in the Harvey's plaza. Now Albany police are asking for the community's help to turn these teens in.

"Always on duty." That's what Georgia State Troopers are taught. So when trooper Darryl Benton was off duty Saturday, headed to lunch with his family he didn't hesitate when something suspicious caught his eye at the South Slappey red light near Southgate Plaza.

"It appeared to me that at first it might have been a shoplifting incident and they were just trying to get out of the area, but when I saw the elderly gentleman running behind them I knew at that point it was a situation that was much more serious than just a shoplifting," said  Benton.

It was. The teens had robbed 56-year-old Anthony Rayner who sits at the plaza near OK Beauty and Fashion.

"Most of the time he comes here on the weekend him and his wife. He sits here. His wife sits down between Citi-Trend and Shoe Show and they basically try to raise money for their church," said Monique Morris of OK Beauty and Fashion.

Despite being on sick leave, Benton wanted to help and today showed us. "I proceeded to the end of this intersection to see if I could see the juveniles crossing over the next street over."

Benton made a left on Poplar Street and spotted the teens with the bucket again on Gillespie Avenue.

"I pulled my vehicle in front of him about this location here at which time I got out of the vehicle."

Benton told the teens he was a trooper and pulled his duty weapon, the teens dropped the bucket and took off and with his family in the car, he let them go.

"We're supposed to respond at all times and The Georgia State Patrol teaches their troopers and trains their troopers under that aspect all the time that, you are always a state trooper," said Benton.

OK employees say Rayner's lip was split and his face and hands scrapped from where he fell chasing the suspects. He wouldn't talk with us, but the family hopes the teens are caught and punished.

Witnesses say the kids in this case appeared to be about 12 or 13. One was wearing a white T-shirt and white shorts. The other wore a red shirt and black shorts.

Police are urging anyone who witnessed the robbery to come forward. They say you can make an anonymous tip.


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