Mexico Crime Spree Over

1 decade 8 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, March 28 2007 Mar 28, 2007 Wednesday, March 28, 2007 10:15:25 PM UTC March 28, 2007 in News

The Columbia Police Department says Martin Mitchell was found in a stolen vehicle that he allegedly car jacked in Mexico on Monday.  He was arrested after a short struggle when officers used pepper spray and a Taser.

It began as a robbery at the Pizza Works restaurant on the village square last Thursday. On Saturday, when a police officer confronted suspect Mitchell Martin, the officer said Martin pointed a pistol at him, then ran away.

Police said a security camera showed Martin breaking into Hawthorne Elementary School about 6:30 a.m. Sunday, where he took clothes and prescription drugs from the nurse's office.

When officers saw Martin on Monday, they said he drove away, crashed his car in a ditch, ran into a convenience store, then stole a pickup truck at gunpoint.

"Our officers are all aware of it, the county officers are aware of it," said Mike Jerichow, director of the Department of Public Safety. "You know, we've spoken with the Columbia Police Department and other area law enforcement agencies. So, the law enforcement agencies in this area, in addition to the state, are aware of the situation and just have confidence in their law enforcement people."

Area business owners say the crime spree has given Mexico a bad image.

"It's a negative effect. It's a ripple effect," said Joseph Millard. "You know, it doesn't just stop at the pool hall. It affects a lot of others, the pizza place. It affects a lot of other people outside, family and friends. It's tragic."

Police have arrested another suspect in the pizza restaurant robbery.

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