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LCPD: Robbery suspect captured, drugs discovered

Submitted by Mike Lee
Public Information Officer

On Tuesday October 18 at approximately 7:30pm the Lake City Police Department responded to TJ Maxx regarding a robbery that had just occurred. When officers arrived and spoke with the victim, they learned that she had left the store while holding a gift card worth $128.46, $42 cash, and a sales receipt. When she walked out of the store, she was approached by a subject, later identified as Eric Jones. As Jones passed the victim, he snatched the card and money out of her hand.

The victim stated that she thought at first it was a prank, and turned to speak to Jones when she saw him quickly entering a vehicle. She told Jones she was calling 911 and that she had his license plate number, to which he reportedly replied “Call the police, it’s a rental,” before driving away.

Officers were able to identify the vehicle as an Enterprise rental car from the tag provided, and with the help of the rental company, determined the address of the renter on NW Alma St. Units responded to the area where they spotted the vehicle driving. The driver matched the description provided by the victim. When they turned around and got behind the vehicle, it pulled suddenly into the back yard of a residence and the driver fled. Officers noted that the suspect was wearing the same clothes as the victim described, and pursued.

After a brief foot chase leading through the neighborhood, the suspect ran into a residence. Officers, in fresh pursuit, made entry and detained Jones. The vehicle, which Jones abandoned, was towed from the scene. An inventory of the vehicle revealed the stolen TJ Maxx Gift Card, cash, and receipt. It also revealed 4 pieces of a rock-like substance that field-tested positive for FLAKKA, two bags of marijuana, and 19 individual “baggies” of white powder that field-tested positive for cocaine.

“When victims speak up and call the police our chances of apprehending criminals increases greatly,” said Police Chief Argatha Gilmore. “And in cases like this, a strong-arm robbery may also lead us to detecting other serious crimes. If you see something, say something.”

Jones was arrested and transported to the Columbia County Jail where he is currently being held on a $79,000.00 bond for charges of Robbery by Sudden Snatching and various drug offenses including distribution.

Arrested: Eric Kentrell Jones
Race/Sex: Black / Male
Date of Birth: 5/23/1984 (32)
Address: 5998 NW Lake Jeffrey Rd
Lake City, FL
Charges: Robbery by Sudden Snatching
Distribution of Cocaine
Distribution of Synthetic Narcotics
Possession of Marijuana
Possession of Drug Equipment
Resisting Arrest
Operating Motor Vehicle W/O License