In what could have been an outtake from “Thelma and Louise,” a film about two females from Arkansas running from the law, two Pine Bluff women accused of robbing a convenience store Wednesday morning were taken into custody before they could even leave the area, thanks to a quick response by police and a witness who confirmed that officers had stopped the right suspects.
Pine Bluff Officer Richard Wegner said in a press release that police received a call at about 10:15 a.m. reporting that the Shell Food Mart at 6708 Sulphur Springs Road had been robbed at gunpoint.
As police were responding to the scene, officers received information that the suspects had fled in a red Chevrolet pickup. Officer Jim Miller had just turned onto Sulphur Springs Road from Camden Road when he saw a red Chevrolet pickup turn north on Oakwood Road and proceed at a high rate of speed. Miller conducted a traffic stop, and a witness pulled up behind his patrol car and confirmed that he had the right people.
The truck was driven by Patricia Beene, 23, and also occupied by Deborah Batson, 25, who were both taken into custody.
While Beene was driving before the traffic stop, police said she was counting the approximately $300 that had been taken. The money was recovered by police in the vehicle.
When Beene was interviewed, she said she had dropped Batson off and knew she was going to steal something but was not aware that Batson had a gun, which turned out to be a B.B. gun.
On Thursday, Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set a $25,000 bond for both Beene and Batson after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge them with aggravated robbery.
“The Pine Bluff Police Department couldn’t be happier with the speed and efficiency at which this robbery was solved,” Wegner said in the press release. “It also illustrates how partnering with citizens who are willing to step forward and help solve crimes more quickly and with greater success.”