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Third church robbery suspect surrenders to Selma police

A third suspect wanted for allegedly robbing two parishioners at gunpoint outside of a Selma church Sunday morning has turned himself in.

According to Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier, 14-year-old Arliss Howard turned himself in Tuesday after his name was released due to the interest of public safety.

Howard, along with 16-year-old Janera Oliver and 15-year-old Anthony Patterson, are accused of robbing two people at Mount Zion Primitive Baptist Church on Union Street just 15 minutes apart.

Oliver and Patterson have been charged as adults with multiple counts of first-degree robbery. Collier said the Selma Police Department is still waiting to hear back from Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson’s office on Howard’s charges.

According to Collier, the first robbery happened around 10:45 a.m. outside of the church. The victim was robbed at gunpoint. Fifteen minutes later, officers responded to another robbery call, where a juvenile was robbed at gunpoint.

A patrol unit spotted the three suspects. Two of them, Oliver and Patterson, were taken into custody at gunpoint.

Howard allegedly fled on foot. Collier said Oliver was in possession of a handgun, which is believed to have been used in the robberies.

“Unfortunately, both citizens were parishioners simply trying to attend church when they were traumatically robbed at gunpoint. Robbing church members entering church is one of the lowest crimes that you can imagine,” Collier said Monday.

Oliver and Patterson were both booked into the Dallas County Jail. Patterson’s bond was set Monday at $1 million by District Judge Bob Armstrong. According to Jackson, Oliver has made bond already.