Eutawville’s police chief is thanking citizens who helped officers find a man suspected of robbing a Dollar General on Tuesday afternoon.
Javon Shakazz Smith, 35, of 126 Press Drive, Holly Hill, was taken into custody at a baseball game in Eutawville. He has been charged with strong-arm robbery.
Eutawville Police Chief Damien Hartwell said he spoke with the manager and reviewed video surveillance after the incident at the store, located at 212 Porcher Ave., Eutawville.
“The suspect approached the cash register and appeared to be purchasing a small pack of candy. When the cashier opened the register to retrieve his change, the suspect leaned over the counter and with both hands managed to take approximately $110 out – even with the cashier yelling at him and trying to keep him from accessing the register,” Hartwell said.
He said the suspect wore clear, welding-style shades; a white T-shirt with red writing on the front and back; red camouflage shorts and Crocs shoes.
The suspect fled from the store on foot, Hartwell said.
Hartwell put out an appeal on Facebook for help locating the suspect.
“A short time later, citizens who had seen the Facebook posts noticed an individual matching the description at the town’s baseball game, which was located behind the community center,” Hartwell said.
“Citizens then notified law enforcement and did a great job at talking with the individual and keeping his attention while we moved in,” he added.
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Officers arrested Smith and transported him to the Orangeburg County Detention Center.
“It’s awesome that we have such a great community. When we as law enforcement are in need of assistance, we cannot only count on our neighboring jurisdictions but we can also look forward to the help of our outstanding citizens,” Hartwell said.
The Holly Hill Police Department, Elloree Police Department and Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office helped with the search for the suspect.
Smith has a history of criminal convictions beginning in 2002, including shoplifting and trespassing.
In November 2002, he pleaded guilty to a North Charleston Police Department charge of possession of a stolen pistol.
A year later, he pleaded guilty to pointing and presenting a firearm at a person. A judge sentenced him under the Youthful Offender Act.
By April 2010, he pleaded guilty to a Holly Hill Police Department charge of petit larceny.
In April 2011, the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office charged him with armed robbery and first-offense possession of one gram of methamphetamine or cocaine base.
He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of strong-arm robbery in December of that year.
A judge sentenced him to eight years in prison, provided that after the service of four years, the remainder of the sentence would be suspended to four years of probation.
In 2014, he pleaded guilty to strong-arm robbery.
In January 2018, Smith pleaded guilty to two Santee Police Department charges of second-degree burglary and first-offense cocaine trafficking.