More details emerge from third Kmart armed robbery

More details emerge from third Kmart armed robbery

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - More information is being unveiled about the two suspects involved in Monday's armed robbery at the Kmart on Airport Thruway.

The incident is the third time one of the accused robbers has committed the crime at this specific business, with the latest crime involving drugs.

We now know that Joshua Hanks, who police believed robbed pharmacy inside the pharmacy on Airport Thruway on Monday, is a former soldier, according to people that know him and what appears to be his Facebook page.

"Officer responded to the scene and learned that a white male armed with a handgun had robbed the pharmacy of an undisclosed amount of narcotics," Major Gil Slouchick said.

Columbus detectives also tell us Hanks was able to drive away with nearly $37,000 worth of oxycodone. He eventually dumped his vehicle and jumped the fence of the Extended Stay Hotel on Armour Road, where he was a registered guest.

"The suspect had apparently been in his room, broken through the wall in his room into another room coming out on the other part of the hotel, and he was taken into custody in the parking lot of the hotel," Slouchick said.

Police confirmed this was Hank's third armed robbery at Kmart's pharmacy; police say the first two alleged robberies took place on March 8 and March 17.

"The method of operation in all three of the armed robberies were similar," Slouchick said.

Hanks girlfriend, Leslie Bottoms, is also accused in the first two robberies. Bottoms shared a hotel room with Hanks, but was not involved in the April 6 armed robbery.

"We have probable cause she had involvement in two the of the armed robbery and was charged with two of the armed robbery," Slouchick said.

According to what appears to be her Facebook page, Leslie Bottoms worked previously at the Hughston Hospital. She was also a registered guest at the Extended Stay Hotel on Armour Road, which is where Joshua Hanks was arrested in the parking lot after the armed robbery.

"She did share a room with him. She was not there that day with him however, on the sixth," Slouchick stated.

Officials say Hanks is not from the Columbus area and was living in the hotel for some time.

"At this point and time, we don't believe he'll be doing it anymore for awhile," Slouchick said.

Hanks will appear in Recorder's Court on Thursday at 9 a.m. Bottoms is also charged with armed robbery and will appear in Recorder's Court on Friday at 8 a.m.

Investigators say Bottoms was arrested at the Columbus Police Department without incident.

News Leader 9 reached out to managers at both the Kmart and the Extended Stay hotel, and both groups said they cannot speak about the incidents at their places of business at this time.

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