Mt. Juliet police continue to search for suspects in armed robberies

(Photo: WKRN)

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MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) – Mt. Juliet police are continuing to search for the suspects wanted in two armed robberies.

The first crime happened Sunday around 1:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Publix in Providence Shopping Center.

Michele Leonard says she had just gotten out of her boyfriend’s truck when she saw a young, African-American male rushing toward her.

“He put the gun up towards both of us and said, ‘Give me your purse!’” she told News 2. “I froze and my boyfriend yelled, ‘Give him your purse!’ I immediately gave him my purse, he ran off, jumped into a red van.”

Mt. Juliet police say the red minivan had been reported stolen out of Nashville.

They say it was later dumped and found back in Nashville again.

“It’s obvious it’s the same group of individuals that are stealing cars and are using that vehicle to get them to different places to rob people,” said Lt. Tyler Chandler with Mt. Juliet police.

Lt. Chandler says the suspects are likely also responsible for an armed robbery in the Hickory Hills neighborhood on Leesa Ann Lane. A pizza delivery driver was robbed around 11:30 a.m.

In that case, a black Volvo stolen out of Nashville was used, says Chandler.

Lt. Tyler Chandler (Photo: WKRN)

These crimes were committed in broad daylight, and one happened in a very public place.

Lt. Chandler says they have every detective working these cases to hopefully apprehend the suspects before the crimes escalate.

“Anytime you have individuals perpetrating on innocent victims in parking lots or at their homes and neighborhoods it’s pretty serious,” he said. “That’s why detectives are working so hard.”

The suspect descriptions are young African-American males who appear to be teenagers. They were wearing hooded sweatshirts. One had a gun and one drove the getaway car.

There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects. Call 615-754-TIPS if you can help.

A community meeting with department leadership has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Hickory Hills clubhouse.

The community meeting will be an opportunity for police and citizens to discuss recent events in the Hickory Hills subdivision.