BPS investigating armed robbery at Taco Bell

Published 10:13 am Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Early Sunday morning an unknown suspect held a Taco Bell employee at gunpoint during an armed robbery.

Stalina Rich arrived at work and said she began to open up everything for the day, while leaving the doors unlocked waiting for other employees. While preparing things in the back of the store, Rich said a black male subject walked up pointing a silver and black gun at her with his left hand. She immediately asked him what he wanted. The suspect told Rich he wanted to know where the surveillance cameras were. When Rich began to point them out, he told her to give him the tape.

Rich explained to him that there wasn’t a tape, all the footage was on a box. The suspect demanded Rich hand over the box, so she began to unplug the box, but struggled. The suspect instructed her to pull out all the wires, so Rich did and handed it over to him. He placed the box in a backpack he was wearing.

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He then demanded for all the money in the safe. Rich said she handed him over the Regions bank bag, which contained approximately $850.

Once the suspect was in possession of the bank bag, he asked for Rich’s cell phone and the Taco Bell cordless phone as well. Rich handed them over, and the suspect placed them in his backpack. After receiving everything he demanded, the suspect exited through the northwest employee door.

Rich waited to make sure the suspect was gone and then walked over to Burger King, where she called E911. Officer Jayson Myers responded and attempted to track Rich’s cellphone with the “find my iphone” app, but was unsuccessful.

Rich described the subject to Myers as 6-feet tall male, weighing between 180-200 pounds wearing a blue plaid jacket with a grey hoodie, camouflage shorts and dirty white tennis shoes.

The case was turned over to Bainbridge Public Safety criminal investigations, with Officer Frank Green and Officer Larry Funderburke working it.

Green said they don’t have any credible evidence to suggest that someone who had any affiliation with Taco Bell is acting as the suspect. However, he did note that this was not a spur of the moment crime.

“Armed robberies can strike at any time,” Green said. “This was a planned event. It had to be a well thought out process.”

Green and Funderburke are asking for any information from the community, who may have seen or heard something. They are offering a reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspect. They are asking residents or nearby businesses who have surveillance footage to let them view it or anyone who may have been driving by at that hour and seen something to report it.

To contact Green and Funderburke with information call Bainbridge Public Safety at (229) 248-2038 and ask for their extension.