Valdosta Daily Times

January 26, 2014

Armed robbery suspects caught

Briarwood Motel robbed at gunpoint

Dean Poling
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Four suspects were arrested Saturday morning shortly after they reportedly robbed a Valdosta motel at gunpoint, according to the Valdosta Police Department.

Shortly after midnight, two masked gunmen entered the lobby of the Briarwood Motel, 1934 Briarwood Road. Four people were in the lobby. The gunmen demanded money then left the scene in a grey Toyota Corolla.

Valdosta Police Officer Jimmy Griffin and VPD Sgt. Robert Renfroe stopped a similar vehicle entering the parking lot of the New Valdosta Inn on West Hill Avenue. Griffin and Renfroe were among several VPD officers responding to the robbery.

Four suspects were inside of the vehicle. Police recovered guns, masks and money, according to reports. One suspect confessed the robbery to VPD Detective Chris Crews.

Police believe two of the suspects were the masked gunmen, one suspect served as the driver of the getaway car, and the other served as lookout.

The motel’s video surveillance reportedly corroborates this information.

All four suspects are from Tabor City, N.C. The VPD issued a bulletin to see if the suspects match similar unsolved robberies in other Southeastern cities and states.

The four men were arrested and taken to the Lowndes County Jail.

Jonathan Strickland faces charges of armed robbery party to the crime; Jodis Washington, 43, faces charges of armed robbery party to the crime;  Derrick Johnson, 27, faces charges of armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime; Tamol Washington, 23, faces charges of armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to the VPD.

Both Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress and Cmdr. Leslie Manahan commended the quick actions of Renfroe and Griffin in making the arrests and Crews for his investigative work.