Suspects identified in store robbery

Published 8:53 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Bibb County man that was arrested for an alleged double capital murder is also wanted for robbing Dollar General in Valley Grande on July 25.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department has identified the three men that allegedly robbed Dollar General in Valley Grande on July 25, and warrants have been issued for one of them.

“We are currently charging Manley Bray with robbery first in connection with the Dollar General robbery in Valley Grande,” said Sgt. John Hatfield with the sheriff’s department. “Mr. Bray has a $1 million bond through our agency.”

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Bray, 21, was arrested July 27 for allegedly murdering two Bibb County men and has been charged with capital murder, according to Trooper Reginal King with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

King said Bray was arrested around midnight in Tuscaloosa after a high-speed chase.

According to Hatfield, Bray is being held without bond in the Bibb County Jail for the two capital murder charges.

“Bessemer [Police] actually interviewed Manley Bray, and he confessed to five robberies throughout the state of Alabama,” Hatfield said.

The robberies were in Dallas, Perry, Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties, according to Hatfield.

“We will file charges on two others, one that entered the store with Manley Bray and then also the person who was driving the vehicle,” Hatfield said. “We have reason to believe that all three individuals have Bibb County ties.”

Chief Deputy Randy Pugh said Hatfield linked the robberies together after he saw a picture from a robbery at a Dollar General in Bessemer that happened the same day as the Valley Grande one.

“He saw a photograph of the individual that was arrested for capital murder,” Pugh said. “We were able to identify them through pictures that we thought were similarities.”

Pugh said the department knew the alleged robbers weren’t from Dallas County because of how the men robbed the store.

“The way they did it kind of shocked us, and that’s why we didn’t think they were local,” Pugh said. “They didn’t try to hide anything. They just walked in, robbed the place and walked out.”

Pugh said the Bessemer robbery was almost identical to the Valley Grande one.

“It was the same clothes, same motive and exact same sequence that happened here,” Pugh said.

Surveillance video from the Valley Grande Dollar General showed two men enter the store, one wearing a blue shirt and pants, a baseball cap and a yellow reflective vest, and the other wearing black clothing.

The two men went to the back of the store and eventually came to the register with what appeared to be a bottle of soap and a pack of beer.

The man wearing the vest handed the cashier cash, and when she opened the register he pulled handgun and pointed at her while he took an undisclosed amount of cash. The two men fled the store with cash and a pack of beer.

According to Hatfield, Bray was also identified in a lineup.

“We were also able to identify him through a standard six-pack lineup,” Hatfield said. “We were able to show store employees a lineup with this individual in it, and they were able to positively pick him out as one of the ones that robbed the store.”

The names of the other two suspects have not been released, but Hatfield said warrants would be issued for their arrest for first-degree robbery.