LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - An ongoing investigation into several area robberies occurring over the past four months has led to additional charges being filed against three Lee County men suspected of involvement in a series of business robberies.
A collaborative law enforcement effort by the Lee County Sheriff's Office, the Opelika Police Department and the Auburn Police Department has led to the arrest of these men.
They are believed to be responsible for approximately seventeen business robberies and possibly more in East Central Alabama and West Central Georgia areas.
Over the past four months numerous 911 calls have been received from local businesses reporting that they had been robbed by individuals wearing masks and armed with handguns.
The multi-agency investigation resulted in the development of information that linked the cases together and at this point indicates that several businesses have been robbed by the same offenders.
Four were reported to the Lee County Sheriff's Office, two reported to the Auburn Police Department, seven reported to the Opelika Police Department, one reported to Phenix City Police, and three reported to police in Columbus, GA.
All of the cases shared similar characteristics including time of day, the suspect's physical descriptions, their clothing descriptions, suspect vehicle, weapons, and type of businesses targeted.
Twenty-year-old Alfred Charles Crowley III of Beulah, 17-year-old Colby Markell McCormick of Opelika, and 16-year-old Jerome Ford Jr. of Opelika have been charged with multiple counts of robbery in the first degree and multiple counts of burglary in the first degree by the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
McCormick and Ford have both been charged as adults for their involvement in these cases.
The offenses in Lee County include a Nov. 5 attempted robbery of a Dollar General Store located in northeast Lee County at 4919 Lee Road 270 in the Beulah community and a Nov. 7 robbery at a Dollar General Store located at 19260 US Hwy 280 East in Smiths Station.
In both crimes, the robbers entered the store near closing time. The robbers had their faces covered with articles of clothing to mask their face and were armed with handguns.
At the time of arrest, the three defendants were being held at the Lee County Detention Facility on other robbery charges.
The bonds set for each defendant will be approximately $500,000.
If you have any information about these robberies or any other crimes please contact the Lee County Sheriff's Office at 1-334-749-5651.