Arrest made in Americus hold up - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Arrest made in Americus hold up

Tips came in after WALB showed surveillance images of the robbery Tips came in after WALB showed surveillance images of the robbery
Frank Gillis was seen on WALB in surveillance video (Mug shot provided by Americus Police Department) Frank Gillis was seen on WALB in surveillance video (Mug shot provided by Americus Police Department)
Diya Foods on Church Street, Diya Foods on Church Street,
Sgt. Anthony Jackson, Americus Police Department Sgt. Anthony Jackson, Americus Police Department
Niral Patel, Diya Foods Owner Niral Patel, Diya Foods Owner
AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

Americus Police arrested 21 year old Frank Gillis Thursday morning at 923 Ridge Street. He is charged with Armed Robbery and Aggravated Assault in the hold up of Diya's Store on West Church Street Monday night

Police say tips from surveillance video aired on WALB Tuesday night helped them identify Gillis, who is in the Sumter County jail.

The store that was robbed at gunpoint last Sunday is now back to business as usual.

"He's not originally from here. I think he recently came here from New York. His mom is living here in town, so I think he came back here to reconnect with his mom," said Americus Police Sgt. Anthony Jackson.

Police said Gillis  is on surveillance video robbing Diya Foods at gunpoint in broad daylight.

"It seemed like the suspect was desperate at the time for it to occur the way it did. So we're pretty happy to get him off the streets," Jackson said.

Investigators say the robbery was especially unusual because of the store's proximity to the police department. "An officer could have been walking out the back door at the time and could have possibly seen it in action."

Officers were able to identify the suspect from anonymous tips, many of which were generated after an earlier broadcast of this story on WALB.

"I'm very happy with the support of the media and law enforcement and the community people who helped me with information," said Diya Foods Owner Niral Patel.

Patel said the suspect made off with about $750, and said the employee working during the hold up is relieved police made the arrest.

"I was not worried actually, but I was just waiting for, to get him as soon as possible because my employee was worried about it," said Patel.

Officers said the suspect could have been driven to other crimes if they didn't catch up with him in time.

"Desperation... you know, you're desperate today and after that money runs out, the desperation returns," said Jackson.

And despite the robbery, Patel says business has remained steady.

 

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