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Covington man arrested by task force
He's suspect in string of robberies
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ROCKDALE COUNTY – Within hours of its formation Thursday, a special robbery task force apprehended a suspect in three recent commercial armed robberies in Rockdale County.

Jonathan Isaiah Hall, 23, of Covington, was taken into custody by the task force, which had been formed by the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Conyers Police Department, Rockdale E9-1-1, and other state and federal partners.

According to a press release from the task force, 20 law enforcement officers participated in the search for a serial robber. In each of the robberies, the suspect, his face covered, rushed into a store and brandished a handgun, according to reports.

Hall faces charges on three counts of armed robbery and one count of being a fugitive from justice. He was arrested without incident and is being held in the Rockdale County Jail.

Task force members shared intelligence information on the robberies, provided lookouts on the vehicle, and viewed videos and photographs taken from security cameras.

Shortly after the task force convened Thursday, Captain Michael Ransom of the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office spotted a vehicle matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle in a grocery store parking lot on Salem Road. He identified and detained the suspect, while other task force units rushed to assist.

Task force members later served a search warrant at the suspect’s residence and recovered a handgun believed to have been used in the robberies.

“I want to commend Captain Michael Ransom of our Field Services Bureau, as well as the other members of the task force, for their diligence and quick response,” said Rockdale Sheriff Eric Levett.

The three armed robberies and attempted robberies occurred in broad daylight.

The first robbery occurred at the Rue 21 store on Dogwood Drive on Aug. 23, Friday afternoon. The suspect came in the store, which had several employees but no customers, and demanded money, threatening to shoot. The suspect then fled on foot.

Two other attempted robberies occurred on Wednesday within an hour of each other - one at the Smoothie King on Ga. Highway 20 and one at the Max General on Pine Log Road.

At the Smoothie King, the suspect entered the store and pointed a gun at the lone employee who was coming from the back. The employee, upon seeing the gun, ran out the back entrance to a neighboring store, where 911 was called. The suspect reportedly was not able to take any cash from the store.

At the Max General on Pine Log Road, witnesses reported that a man displaying a handgun entered the building and tried to get in to a secured area. Employees activated the alarm. When he failed to enter, he ran from the building. No shots were fired, and no one was injured.

The suspect's description was similar in all three incidents: a heavyset black male, age 25-35, above-average height, with facial hair. He wore a dark knit face covering, black gloves, and blue jeans, in the robberies on Aug. 28. He was seen driving a silver late-model Chevrolet Malibu.