Intensive police work and a little help from the public culminated Thursday night with the arrests of two cousins who police say have admitted to committing a spate of aggravated robberies at convenience stores in north Denton.
Denton police Capt. Roger White said Friday that the department dedicated a large number of personnel to surveillance of convenience stores in the past two weeks, but it was a Crime Stoppers’ tip that finally allowed enough evidence to convince a judge to sign arrest warrants.
Kwame Wilson, 22, was arrested near his home, which lies between the stores that were robbed. He was charged with three counts of aggravated robbery and an unrelated charge of burglary of a motor vehicle. He remains in city jail in lieu of $35,000 total bond, White said.
Wilson previously pleaded guilty to possessing an open container in a motor vehicle.
Detectives also had two arrest warrants for aggravated robbery for Preston Jefferson, 21, also of Denton. He met with his family after learning of Wilson’s arrest, White said, and they brought him to the police department, where he surrendered. He is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.
“Preston has no criminal history, and he has been cooperative,” White said. “His family convinced him that he should come in on his own.”
Detective Eric Beckwith was lead investigator on the case, White said. He and several other detectives have been working hard since the first robbery five weeks ago, concentrating on the part of Denton where the first three robberies occurred. They believed, because the men were always seen running from the robberies, that at least one of them might live nearby, and that assumption was a good one, he said.
“They wore hoodies and masks,” he said. “Those kinds of cases are hard to clear. It was a combination of good police work and help from the public.”
The first robbery happened at EZ’s Smoke Shop at 416 W. Sherman Drive on May 23. Two men burst into the store at 11:24 p.m. One man had a gun and they demanded cash from the register and cigarettes. They left on foot.
A week later, again on a Wednesday night just before closing, two men ran into S&B Convenience Store across the street from the first store at 1918 N. Carroll Blvd. Again, a handgun was waved and they demanded cash and cigarettes. That robbery occurred at 11:53 p.m.
In both cases, the gun-wielding man was about 6 feet tall with a thin build. The second man was shorter with a medium build. Both men appeared to be between 20 and 25 years old. They wore dark-colored hooded sweatshirts with masks across the bottom of their faces and long pants. They both appeared to be black.
On June 9 at 10:25 p.m. the tall man ran, almost skipping, into the Howdy Doody store at 2824 W. Locust St. pointing a handgun at the clerk as he ran. He demanded cigarettes and cash and was gone on foot in minutes. He also wore a hoodie and mask covering his head and face.
White said that Jefferson was not believed to be connected to the third robbery.
DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.