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Pictured from left to right: Natchez P.D. Detective Gerald Mooney and Captain Scott Frye, and Vidalia Police Chief Joey Merrill and Lt. Clint Robinson

Vidalia Police Dept. announces arrests
from Staff Reports - NEWS
July 11, 2017 -

The cooperation of five law enforcement agencies throughout the Miss-Lou has led to the arrest of four men that solved three open criminal cases, including the armed robbery of a Natchez convenience store in June, a separate case involving
terrorist threats against law enforcement, and a third case involving destruction of property and theft at a Vidalia car wash.
A lone gunman entered the Jack Mart on Lower Woodville Road, Natchez, June 25, escaping with cash, according to Natchez Police Department Detective Gerald Mooney.
Mooney noted that investigators initially believed there were only two suspects involved in the robbery - a gunman and a getaway driver, but as the investigation progressed, they discovered a third suspect was apparently involved as a lookout person.
Working together, the Vidalia and Natchez Police Departments, the Adams County and Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Offices and the Concordia Narcotics Task Force (comprised of Vidalia and Ferriday Police Departments and the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office) arrested Derrick Coleman, 18, Plouden Bayou Rd.,
Monterey; Austin Crawford, 18, of Cloverdale; and Austin Hammers, 17, 1225 Peach St., Vidalia. All are facing armed robbery charges with the Natchez Police Department, Mooney stated.
Officials believe Hammers was the gunman, Derrick Coleman was the driver and Crawford stood lookout.
Mooney and Vidalia Police Lt. Clint Robinson noted that evidence from the convenience store robbery led them to believe a suspect or suspects could be located at a Plum Street residence in Vidalia.
While investigating this theory, a Facebook message threatening violence against police, particularly targeting the Vidalia Police Department, was posted Friday morning (July 7) by Gregory Dalton Coleman, 23, 1207 Plum St., Vidalia.
Dalton Coleman, who is the brother of Derrick Coleman, was charged by Vidalia police with terrorizing as a hate crime toward police.
When serving the warrant and conducting a search at the Plum Street residence Friday. Robinson said a large quantity of drug paraphernalia was found, including items used to consume, manufacture and transport drugs, along with small amounts of marijuana residue throughout the house. VPD Chief Joey Merrill, the Narcotics Task Force and VPD officers conducted the search.
Derrick Coleman’s vehicle, which was allegedly used in the armed robbery, was located in Monterey, seized by police and was later released.
Merrill commended his officers for their diligence in working the armed robbery case from the moment they were notified by the Natchez Police Department of the possibility of local suspects. “They worked extremely hard following up on the evidence and everyone involved did an excellent job.”
Mooney noted that had it not been for the cooperation of law enforcement agencies in Louisiana and Mississippi, the robbery would still be under investigation. “This involved many, many hours for all of us,” he added.
Hammers is additionally charged by Vidalia police with felony theft and felony criminal damage to property in connection with the February 15 destruction and theft at the Wash & Go car wash on Carter Street in Vidalia, Robinson said.
Money was allegedly stolen from a coin change machine there, as well as from a vacuum cleaner unit that was destroyed. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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