An Augusta man was arrested at the scene of a Columbia County robbery early Friday before he could make a getaway, police said.
Johnathon Edward Stump, 36, of the 2500 block of Deans Bridge Road, was arrested at about 12:30 a.m. as he left the Stuckey's convenience store on Jimmie Dyess Parkway, Columbia County sheriffs Capt. Steve Morris said.
Mr. Stump entered the store and told the clerk there were men casing the store, Capt. Morris said.
"He said he was told to go inside (by the men casing the store) and take $60 from the clerk or they would beat him up," Capt. Morris said.
The clerk managed to alert customers to the robbery, and they contacted police.
Capt. Morris said Mr. Stump told police he robbed the store because he was physically threatened by the men, but later admitted the story was a lie. He was charged with robbery by intimidation and is being held at the Columbia County Detention Center on $15,000 bond.
On Thursday, Mr. Stump stopped by the Columbia County bureau of The Augusta Chronicle and asked to leave a heavy bag containing clothes in the lobby, while he sought aid at an Evans church.
A few hours later, he returned to The Chronicle's offices to collect his belongings, having received a ride from a sheriff's deputy arranged by the church. Sgt. Jay Hollingsworth took Mr. Stump to the Motel 6 on Park West Drive near Jimmie Dyess Parkway, where arrangements had been made for him to stay, Capt. Morris said.
Mr. Stump told police he was homeless and was looking for help, Capt. Morris said. When Mr. Stump was processed after a Nov. 22 arrest for a parole violation, Capt. Morris said he provided a Deans Bridge Road address as his permanent residence.
Reach J. Scott Trubey at 868-1222, ext. 109, or firstname.lastname@example.org.