In the last two months the Chief of Police became concerned with the number of armed robberies occurring in Texarkana, Arkansas. He directed the Criminal Investigation Division, Patrol Division, and Bi-State Narcotics taskforce to form a Robbery Taskforce. The agency has cleared the following cases within a week of the formation of the taskforce. They had identified and arrested four (4) suspects.
- On 10/01/09 at 4:30pm the Super 8 motel, 325 East 51st Street, was robbed by a white male wearing a white hat, white bandana, gloves, who was 5’9 and 165 pounds. The clerk reported that the suspect rushed though the door and removed money from the business.
- On 10/12/09 at 1:00pm the Rehopf’s gas station, 3607 East 9th Street, was robbed by a white male with a dark complexion, brown eyes, wearing a camouflage jacket and blue jeans. The suspect presented what appeared to be a handgun and demanded money from the clerk
- On 10/28/09 at 8:00pm, at the Dixie Mart, at the intersection of Hwy 196 and Hwy 237 was robbed by a male described to be white, 5’6 tall, dark complexion, and brown eyes. The suspect wore two bandanas over his hair and lower face. The suspect presented to the clerk a handgun and demanded money.
- On 11/04/09 at 7:00pm, the same Dixie Mart was robbed again by a white male matching the general physical description as the previous robbery suspect. This time the suspect wore a Halloween mask and socks on both hands. The suspect presented a handgun to the clerk and demanded money.
Taskforce officers developed information used to identify the suspect as Erik Marshall Heigelmann, W/M 11/18/1971 who was subsequently apprehended and arrested for these robberies. Erick Heigelmann was charged with one (1) count of robbery and three (3) counts of aggravated robbery.
During the same time period three additional robberies occurred in Texarkana Arkansas. The following incidents were reported:
- On November 3rd, two separate aggravated robberies occurred within one hour each other. The incidents involved a victim’s being robbed at gunpoint while in the parking lot of the La Quinta and La Crosse hotel, in Texarkana, Arkansas. Both victims described the suspects as two black males wearing dark clothing. The suspects approached the victims and demanded money and cell phones while pointing a gun at them. One of the victims identified Stevie Evans as the suspect in a photographic line-up.
- On November 5th, at 5:00am, P.J.’s Gift, located on East 9th Street, and was robbed at gunpoint by a black male dressed in all black.
Taskforce Officers were able to identify and arrest Stevie Evans, B/M 18yoa, of Texarkana, for aggravated robbery. Detective Les Moody developed additional information which resulted in the arrest of Anna Guzman, B/F 18yoa, and Martinee Minneweather, B/M 21yoa, both from Texarkana, for aggravated robbery for their involvement in the P.J.’s Gifts robbery.
Chief Bob Harrison stated, “For various reasons, major crime is on the increase in our community. The economy and drug addiction certainly play a part; however, the revolving door of arrests, where suspects are released on low bail bonds and early release from the penitentiary, allowing them to come right back out and begin committing the same crimes again, plays the largest part in this increase. Almost every individual we arrest for a major crime has been arrested before for the same offense. Law enforcement is extremely frustrated when they work day & night to solve crime, and the criminals are back on the street committing the same crime again, before the case file ever goes to the prosecutor. Many people say prisons aren’t the answer, and in some cases that could be true; however, with violent offenders, the crime rate will dwindle if those committing major crimes remain behind bars.”
Chief Harrison also stated “I am especially concerned about the increase in the number of home burglaries reported to the department, so we have reassigned officers from the Robbery Taskforce to investigate the burglaries and increase patrols and surveillance in residential neighborhoods. We ask for all citizens of Texarkana, Arkansas to be aware of their surroundings and to be good neighbors, keeping an eye out for suspicious activity in their neighborhood. What may appear to citizens as insignificant and meaningless, may be the one small piece of evidence or information that can solve these crimes. We encourage anyone with information to call 911 if they see anyone or anything out of the ordinary”.
Anyone with information regarding a crime is encouraged to notify TAPD or Texarkana area CrimeStoppers at 903-793-STOP.
Thank you and you can visit the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department online at http://www.txkusa.org/arkpolice.
Officer Kristi Mitchell
Public Information Officer