3 arrested for robbing Coweta grocery store
by Wes Mayer
Two men and a juvenile suspected of the armed robbery of a Coweta County grocery store in August were charged in the case Tuesday.
Donquerius Lamonte Mahone, 27, Ayinde Khalil Pearson, 18, and a 15-year-old juvenile were charged with armed robbery and aggravated assault after evidence connected them to the robbery of Carniceria Del Valle, said Lt. Col. Jimmy Yarbrough with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators Mark Callahan and Elaine Jordan led the case.
The juvenile’s name can’t be given at this time, but he will most likely be prosecuted as an adult after approval is given by Coweta Superior Court officials, Yarbrough said.
Investigators are still searching for a fourth suspect, whose name also can’t be given at this time, Yarbrough said. The four suspects are all believed to be working together and may be responsible for three other armed robberies in the area— one armed robbery in Hogansville, one in Luthersville, and the third in Newnan, the robbery of the Family Dollar on Temple Avenue on Sept. 2.
The two weapons found in their possession are being tested to see if they match the weapons used in the armed robbery of Carniceria Del Valle. Detectives with the different cities’ police departments are currently investigating these suspects for the robberies in their cities.
“Hopefully other agencies will begin to put more charges on these individuals,” Yarbrough said.
The robbery of Carniceria Del Valle, a grocery store on Turkey Creek Road specializing in Latin American food, took place around 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 21. According to Lt. John Lewis, two suspects described as black males, now believed to be Pearson and Mahone, entered the grocery store with masks covering their faces and carrying guns — one, later identified as a .38 revolver, and the other identified as a semi-automatic 9mm handgun — in their hands. One suspect stayed by the front door and the second approached the cashier and demanded money. The second suspect then demanded money from the three customers in the store before fleeing in a white/silver Ford passenger car.
According to Yarbrough, investigators believe the 15-year-old juvenile was waiting for Pearson and Mahone in the car. As the suspects fled the scene, a woman who is related to the owner of the grocery store drove up and recognized them as robbers. She attempted to pursue them down Poplar Road, but the suspects fired back at her with their guns, hitting her vehicle twice and ending her pursuit.
Because the three acted together, each one has been charged with four counts of armed robbery and aggravated assault with a firearm, Yarbrough said, in addition to the charges they received when they were first arrested individually.
Pearson was actually arrested on Aug. 23 by Deputy Trent Hastings. During a routine traffic stop, Hastings received permission to search Pearson’s vehicle and discovered a 9mm handgun inside the vehicle. Pearson did not have a license to be carrying the weapon, and he was arrested.
Mahone was arrested by Officer Christopher Robinson with the Newnan Police Department. According to his report, around 6:15 p.m. on Aug. 30, Robinson saw a vehicle matching the description of one used in an armed robbery and subsequent pursuit — a silver Ford Focus. Robinson made a traffic stop at the intersection of Greison Trail and Bullsboro Drive because the vehicle was on active lookout.
A woman, who was detained but later released, was driving the vehicle, and Mahone was in the passenger’s seat. Robinson spoke to Mahone about the recent robberies, and Mahone stated he knew about them from “street talk.” Mahone also told Robinson he was on parole for a previous armed robbery and had recently been released from prison.
Robinson said in his report he received permission to search Mahone and received permission from the female driver to search the vehicle. Robinson did not find any illegal contraband on Mahone, but under the passenger seat, he found a .38 revolver wrapped in a white cloth. Mahone was charged for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and was handcuffed. Mahone then advised Robinson that he had an active violation of parole warrant.
Inv. Callahan arrived on the scene, the case was turned over to him, and Mahone was transported to the Coweta County Jail.