Belleville construction crew snags robbery suspect

News-DemocratJuly 26, 2013 

A Belleville man has been arrested and charged with the robbery of a liquor store near Belleville Thursday.

Charles E. James Jr., 58, of 326 N. Jackson St., was charged by the St. Clair County State's Attorney Friday with aggravated robbery.

James is accused of robbing the Town and Country Liquor and Food Mart at 1153 Centerville Ave. Thursday afternoon, but his efforts to flee were foiled by workers in a construction zone on Centerville Avenue near Illinois 15.

When St. Clair County Sheriff's Deputy David Frisse arrived at the business in response to the call, he found several construction workers surrounding James, who was lying on the ground. Frisse took James into custody without incident.

The clerk at the store told Frisse that James had grabbed her, threatened her and demanded she open the cash register. He took an undisclosed amount of cash and attempted to make his getaway on foot through the front door, according to St. Clair County Sheriff's Chief Investigator Lt. Scott Weymouth.

The clerk yelled for help as James ran and the construction workers heard her and snagged James, keeping him secure until deputies arrived.

St. Clair County Sheriff Richard Watson thanked the construction workers for their quick action to help deputies take a violent criminal off the streets.

"Cooperation between the public and law enforcement is vital in making a difference," he stated.

St. Clair County Sheriff's Investigator Kenneth McHughes was assigned to the investigation and submitted his findings to the St. Clair County State's Attorney's office for charges.

St. Clair County Judge Julie Gomric set James' bail at $250,000 and he remains in custody in the St. Clair County Jail.

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