Arrest made in Aiken robbery

AIKEN - Aiken County investigators arrested a North Augusta man in connection with a robbery Tuesday morning outside Hootie’s Outdoors in Clearwater.

Phillip Bernard Smith Jr., 33, is in jail on a charge of strong armed robbery.

Capt. Troy Elwell of the sheriff’s office said that about 10 a.m. a man pushed a woman to the ground in the parking lot of the business on Jefferson Davis Highway and snatched her purse before fleeing across the highway into a trailer park.

The Aiken Bloodhound Tracking Team tracked Mr. Smith to a trailer in the Green Acres trailer park, where he was arrested, Capt. Elwell said. His vehicle and tag also matched the description of sport utility vehicle investigators were searching for in connection with a robbery Monday morning at a dry cleaners in Belvedere, Capt. Elwell said.

He said investigators believe Mr. Smith to be responsible for both crimes but he has only been charged with the incident at Hootie’s.

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