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Armed robber tracked down with witness help
Joseph Williams

Help from a witness and persistent investigation led to the arrest of a man wanted for robbing a woman at gunpoint at the Conyers Wal-Mart Monday.

Joseph Williams, 32, of Covington was charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, and fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.

Shortly before midnight on Dec. 19, Williams was reportedly shown on security video footage loitering near the car of the victim, a 24-year-old black female doing some grocery shopping, in the Conyers Wal-Mart parking lot, according to Conyers Police Department Lt. Jack Dunn.

The vicitim spotted Williams near the shopping cart corral and tried to avoid him, leaving her shopping cart near her car instead. But Williams walked around the other side of her car and held her up at gunpoint, stole her purse and cash, and took off in a Chevy Camero.

A witness who saw the robbery tried to stop the Camero with his own car and then began following the fleeing vehicle. The witness lost the getaway car but not before he was able to report a good description to police.

Officers then spotted a car with a similar description at the Shell gas station at West Avenue and were able to get a car tag number but lost the car as it fled at a high speed onto Interstate 20 heading east.

Investigators tracked down the address of the car owner to 130 Thrasher Road in Covington, where Williams reportedly resided.

Shortly after 8 a.m., a Newton County SWAT team and CPD officers surrounded the house at 130 Thrasher Road to serve a search warrant.

A standoff ensued between the officers and the residents inside. After about an hour, the occupants came out peacefully. Williams was not inside, however.

During that time, the Camero, which was reportedly not owned by Williams, returned to the house with another driver. When officers searched the car, they found some of Williams' items inside as well as the robbery victim's ID card.

Williams turned himself in to police hours later and was arrested and booked into the Rockdale County jail.