Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office credits News 19 report in helping find suspected armed robber

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FLORENCE, Ala. — A Colbert County man suspected of an armed robbery is now behind bars.

22-year-old Matthew Braden Pounders of Cherokee sits inside a cell at the Lauderdale County Detention Center. He’s suspected of an armed robbery at the Chevron gas station in the Underwood-Petersville community on April 25.

Investigator Matt Burbank with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office said if it weren’t for a previous News 19 report, they might not have been able to arrest him.

“Once channel 19 aired the story about the robbery, tips started coming in,” Burbank said. “Once some of the tips started coming in, we started getting the same name multiple times. At that point, we started investigating that subject and we developed probable cause to believe that Mr. Pounders committed those offenses.”

Burbank said tips from the public are the most helpful in cases like this, “In this day and age, that’s what we call community policing. With help from the community, we solve a lot of crimes; it makes people a lot safer and it keeps lives out of jeopardy and out of danger.”

Burbank said during the investigation, it was discovered that Pounders frequently visited the Chevron. He believed financial strain was Pounders’s main motivation.

“And he thought this was his only way out,” Burbank said. “We encourage people to think all their options through. Crime should never be a resort and if you’re in a stressful situation, especially financially, come forward to other people; there’s other people willing to help you out.”

Burbank said the owner of that Chevron station told him he would have helped Pounders financially had he just asked.

Pounders is charged with 1st-degree robbery and 3rd-degree theft of property. His bond is set at $61,000.

The U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Fugitive Task Force made the arrest with assistance from the Lauderdale County and Colbert County Sheriff’s offices.

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