Two people wanted in connection with two armed robberies in Tyler were arrested in Alabama as they hid in a motel bathroom.

The two robberies occurred in March, one outside the city limits and the other in the city. According to law enforcement reports, robbers told clerks they would shoot them if they did not give up the cash in the stores.

Tips from the public led Smith County Sheriff and Tyler Police investigators to identify suspects, a man and a woman, in the robberies.

"According to information received during the investigation, both suspects were believed to be in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama area. It was also determined that both had warrants for their arrest for violation of probation out of Smith County stemming from a previous charge of possession of a controlled substance," Sheriff Larry Smith said.

Smith said sheriff's detective Aaron Hinton developed crucial information during his investigation, which led him to believe the suspects were either in a homeless shelter or motel near a Wal-Mart in Tuscaloosa.

"Detective Hinton contacted the United States Marshal's Fugitive Task Force in Tyler and requested assistance in Tuscaloosa in locating the suspects. Both suspects were found hiding in the bathroom of a motel along Interstate 20 in Tuscaloosa and booked into the Tuscaloosa County Jail on the violation of probation warrants out of Smith County," he said.

Hinton and a Tyler Police detective traveled to Tuscaloosa and interviewed both suspects, who made admissions as to their involvement in the robberies.

"During the interview, it was determined that the male suspect's vehicle, a 1996 Buick Regal, had broken down on I-59 in Jasper County, Mississippi, near Meridian, and that he had left it," he said.

Smith said Mississippi officers, armed with warrants, found the car and evidence inside linking them to the robberies in Smith County.

Smith said warrants are expected to be issued Monday charging both suspects with aggravated robbery. Extradition proceedings are then expected to begin. Law enforcement have not yet released the names of the supsects.


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