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East Texas Robbery Suspects Caught after Witness Alerts Police

Benjamin Reno and Jeremy Sides
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office

Two East Texas men are jailed on aggravated robbery charges after authorities acted on a tip from a witness who was at a convenience store when it was robbed.

Jeremy Ray Sides, 20, of Troup and 17-year-old Benjamin Jacob Reno of Jacksonville allegedly held up the Hot Spot #2 convenience store in Mt. Selman. They were taken into custody a short time after the robbery when Cherokee County Deputies spotted the suspects’ vehicle described by a witness who was at the store.

The witness to the robbery stated that he had just purchased a drink from the store and was leaving in his vehicle.  He pulled around the rear of the store and observed a white male standing at the back of the store.  He described a white male wearing a maroon shirt and when the witness drove past, the suspect turned his head to conceal his face.

As the witness continued around the store and stopped to enter highway 69, he looked back at the store and saw the same person standing next to the clerk behind the counter.

The witness turned back into the parking lot on the south side of the store and saw the suspect running across the grass toward a blue Dodge Durango that was parked behind bushes on CR3914.  He stated that the passenger side door was already open, the suspect jumped into the vehicle, which then speed off southbound on CR3914.

The witness returned to the store to check on the clerk and wait for Deputies to arrive.

Using the information provided by the witness and the store clerk, the suspect and vehicle information was broadcast to other officers who located the vehicle near CR4910 in the Troup area.

Officers recovered a blue steel revolver, a black bandana, and $257 in cash.

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