July 27, 2003
Lauderdale County and city of Meridian law officers made quick work of apprehending two men suspected in the daring daylight robbery of a BankPlus branch on Highway 19 North last Wednesday. John Patton, 33, of Meridian, and Ronnie Parnell, 38, of Jackson, were jailed after being apprehended following a high-speed chase that ended on Allen Swamp Road near Okatibbee Reservoir.
In recounting the morning's events, officers said it was a real team effort. First, an unidentified Meridian resident notified police that a man with a stocking over his head was leaving the bank. The resident gave police a description of the vehicle the man was in and the direction it was heading.
A deputy spotted the vehicle and, armed with good information, city and county officers quickly gave chase over State Boulevard Extension, Pine Springs Road and, finally, Allen Swamp Road. The suspects were apprehended near the site of a bridge that was damaged by recent storms, and closed.
There is no substitute for timely, reliable information when a crime of this nature occurs. The case reminds us that law enforcement truly is a community-wide priority and that, here, crime really doesn't pay.