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Rural grocery robbed at gun point

By By Sherry Digmon
Advance Staff Writer
By SHERRY DIGMON
Advance Staff Writer
Four juveniles robbed a rural business at gun point Thursday afternoon.
According to the Escambia County Ala. Sheriff's Department, four juveniles entered Wayside Grocery on Highway 21 North about 2:45 p.m.
The Sheriff's Department, Atmore Police Department and 21st Judicial Drug Task Force responded to the call.
Two of the suspects held an employee at gun point while the other two went behind the counter and emptied the cash register. The suspects then fled in an older model gray Oldsmobile, heading south toward Atmore.
Atmore Police Chief Danny McKinley and Task Force Investigator Darrell Holsonback knew of a vehicle matching the description of the one used in the robbery. They spotted the car in front of a house on Carver Avenue. When the suspects spotted McKinley and Holsonback, they fled on foot.
On a picnic table in the yard of the house, McKinley and Holsonback discovered clothing matching the description of that worn by the robbers.
Prison dogs from Fountain Correction-al Center were called in to assist. Joining in the search were the Sheriff's Depart-ment, the Atmore Police Department, the Task Force, the Poarch Police Depart-ment, Alabama State Troopers and the Alabama Department of Agriculture.
The dogs tracked the suspects to an isolated area behind the Escambia County Middle School on Martin Luther King Drive where the tracks ended. Investigators believe the suspects were picked up and given a ride.
At about 4:15 p.m., Antwan Bowens, accompanied by his parents, turned himself in to sheriff's investigators at the Atmore police station. Bowens, 17, gave a Gray Street address.
He was arrested as an adult and charged with first-degree robbery. A juvenile 16 or older charged with a Class A felony, such as using a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime, can be charged as an adult, McKinley said.
Bowens was transported to the Escambia County jail where he remained in custody Friday afternoon. His bond was set at $10,000.
Atmore Police Officer Barry Hurst apprehended another juvenile suspect on Liberty Street in Atmore at approximately 6:30 p.m. He was transported to the Baldwin County Juvenile Detention Center where he is being held pending adjudication as an adult.
As of press time Friday afternoon, the other two juveniles were still at large.