Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

November 19, 2011

Police: Arrest made in gas store robberies

JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville police arrested a local man involved in a string of gas station robberies Friday.

Detective Greg Compton said Ray Hawkins Jr., 27, of Jacksonville, was arrested for his alleged involvement in the Oct. 18 robbery of J-N-J's Food Mart on Jackson Street. Compton said Hawkins provided the revolver used in the robbery as well as the get-away car.

“I just walked up to him and said, 'hey you have warrants,' and he put his hands behind his back — no thrashing, no fighting, no running, he just turned around and put his hands behind his back,” Compton said.

Hawkins faces two counts of aggravated robbery, a first degree felony.  Hawkins will not be charged as an accomplice, but for the actual offense.

Each count carries a possible sentence of between five to 99 years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

“Once you participate in the planning or execution of the crime, you might as well have been standing there alongside whoever went in,” he said.

Police officials said Rodrick Johnson, 20, of Jacksonville executed the robbery of the store and robbed a customer at gunpoint for his wallet. Officials said this counts as two robberies.

Compton said JPD arrested Johnson on Oct. 28 for warrants on two gas station robberies in Freestone County. Officials also said he was also involved in the robbery of The Corner Store, on F.M. 747, on Oct. 9.

Compton said at the time of his arrest, Johnson could not be linked to local robberies, but charges have been filed.

“They are looking at some serious, serious jail time once all of this ends up in the courthouse,” Compton said.

A lot of information for the arrests came after the robbery of Fastrac station on Bolton Street Oct. 25, where two men in Halloween masks held up the store and afterwards Public Safety Trooper Cpl. Tyson Metzig spotted a reddish vehicle that matched the description from recent store robberies, officials said.

Police arrested Aaron Hale, 19, of Jacksonville and his wife, Briana Hale, 17, of Jacksonville, Cody Kirby, 22, of Jacksonville and Wayne Frangiosa, 21, of Jacksonville.

Cherokee County Sheriff's Department Detective Dusty Lee said Aaron Hale was the possible driver in the Fastrac robbery and information gained from that arrest gave led to other robberies.

“The sheriff's department investigators and I worked really well to get all these tied together,” Compton said.

Officials said a gun found in the car matched one involved in the robbery of the Nu Time Truck stop on  Oct. 18. Officials said store videos show Kirby using the rifle.

Frangiosa has also been linked to the robberies of the Corner Store and Nu Time.

Lee said those arrested in the traffic stop have also been charged with organized criminal activity.

Both Lee and Compton said the suspects could be involved with other robberies but the departments are out of leads.

If residents have any information, they can call the Cherokee County Crimestoppers at  903-586-7867.

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