Crime

Update: Man, 70, arrested in armed robbery charged in four other crimes

Leon Ratliff Jr.
Leon Ratliff Jr.

A 70-year-old man arrested in the armed robbery of a store Tuesday night faces trial as a suspected serial robber in the armed holdups of four Gulfport stores in 2015.

On the latest charge, Leon Ratliff Jr., is accused in a robbery at knifepoint at the Tobacco & Beer Discount House in the 800 block of Pass Road, Gulfport police Sgt. Joshua Bromen said. The holdup was reported at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Police took Ratliff into custody in the 3000 block of 6th Avenue, Bromen said. He was booked at the jail early Wednesday morning on a $100,000 bond set by Municipal Court Judge Fant Walker.

Gulfport police had arrested him in September 2015 on four armed robbery charges. He has been indicted on those charges and is set for trial in July, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Police have said he used a handgun in these holdups:

▪  Aug. 17, 2015: Chevron station at 12486 U.S. 49

▪  Sept. 11, 2015: Shell station at 10015 U.S. 49

▪  Sept. 19, 2015: Dollar General at 817 Pass Road

▪  Sept. 22, 2015: Shell station at 394 Pass Road

Ratliff allegedly left with an undisclosed amount of cash in those robberies, as well as the robbery Tuesday night.

He had been held on bonds totaling $500,000 after his Sept. 26, 2015, arrest. He was indicted and his total bonds were reduced to $40,000, the Harrison County jail docket shows. He spent more than three months in jail and was released Jan. 7, 2016.

No injuries were reported in any of the robberies.

His bonds on the 2015 charges could be revoked.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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