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Bank robbery suspects remain behind bars

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
July 25, 2003
Two men remained in the Lauderdale County jail Thursday night after being charged with the Wednesday morning armed robbery of BankPlus on Highway 19 North.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said Thursday that the investigation of the robbery has been handed over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.
In addition to coordinating crime prevention and criminal investigations between federal, state and local authorities, the MBI exchanges information with other agencies on an intrastate level.
John Patton, 33, of 107 71st Place, was held on a $25,000 bond and Ronnie Parnell, 38, of 1031 Wholesale Row, Jackson, was held on $100,000 bond. The men were formally booked on charges about 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Detective Darrell Theall of the Meridian Police Department said one of the men entered the bank with a BB gun and demanded money. Based on a witness' description of the vehicle the suspects fled the bank in, a 1993 Jeep Cherokee, law enforcement officers began a high-speed chase.
The chase ended when the suspects lost control of the Cherokee where a bridge had washed out on Allen Swamp Road.
An undisclosed amount of money was recovered at the scene.