Tuesday, May 22, 2012
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
The man believed responsible for at least 10 armed robberies of gas stations in the Buford area was located Monday, police said -- outside his own apartment.
Gwinnett County police detectives located Rufus Jerome Smith, 25, at the Tree Park Apartments in Flowery Branch. In collaboration with deputies from both the Hall and Gwinnett County sheriff's offices, they spotted him leaving the apartment Monday, police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.
Officers approached him and he attempted to run. Smith was tasered and taken into custody without further incident, police said.
The suspect has been charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime. Original reports alleged Smith was responsible for robberies at eight gas stations near Buford, but police now believe he could have had a hand in "10 or more."
Jail records show the most recent arrest was Smith's 13th in Gwinnett County since 2004. His previous detainment -- a three-month stint on obstruction and drug charges -- ended April 26, just four days before the start of a streak of six alleged robberies in 10 days.
That string included these robberies: April 30 at the Marathon gas station at 2380 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.; May 3 at the Shell gas station at 1945 Buford Highway; May 3 at the Chevron gas station at 310 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.; May 6 at the Chevron gas station at 2820 Hamilton Mill Road; May 8 at the Shell gas station at 1158 Buford Highway; and May 10 at the Exxon gas station at 215 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
According to incident reports obtained by the Daily Post, police believe Smith hid outside the majority of his targeted stores until the final late-night customers departed, then entered with his face covered by a mask and gun out.
Last week, police said they had already charged 27-year-old Buford resident Layman Sherman for his alleged role in the robberies. Sherman and a female, identified as Carson Denard, were detained after a Gwinnett police officer pulled them over in a car matching the description of the lookout vehicle from the crime scenes.
Sherman has been charged with aggravated assault, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Denard was charged with felony false statements.