Police have arrested three men in connection with armed robberies reported within 30 minutes of each other at two businesses early Wednesday morning.
Detectives said one holdup occurred at the Shell gas station at Pass and DeBuys roads and the other at the Waffle House on Reynoir Street.
Arrested in a traffic stop were Gulfport residents Justin Marshall, 23; Jariel Peterson, 25; and Theron Whitlock II, 22.
Investigators believe Whitlock is the armed man who went in both businesses, while Peterson drove the getaway vehicle and Marshall was a passenger, Detective John Lamb said.
Each were arrested on two counts of armed robbery.
Police responded to the Shell gas station robbery at 3:51 a.m. A man holding a semi-automatic handgun had entered the business and demanded money and merchandise. The gunman left with an undisclosed amount of cash and two cartons of cigarettes, Lamb said.
No customers were in the store when it happened, he said.
A witness told police of a suspicious vehicle just before the robbery and described a man who got out of the vehicle and walked toward the gas station.
While investigating that holdup, police received a report at 4:20 a.m. of the Waffle House robbery. The suspect matched the other suspect’s description.
There were several employees and customers in the Waffle House. Lamb said one of the workers darted behind the counter.
“It happened so fast,” Lamb said.
Officers reported seeing a vehicle matching the description given in the Shell holdup as it drove away after the Waffle House robbery.
Police stopped the vehicle on Judge Sekul Avenue. They obtained a search warrant, and found evidence from both holdups, including the gun, he said.
The three were booked at the Harrison County jail.
Peterson and Whitlock each received bonds that total $400,000. Marshall’s bond totals $40,000. Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain set their bonds.