COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — He tried to rob the pharmacy while she waited in the car.
That’s what Columbus Police say happened at about 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Rite Aid on Highway 45 North at 18th Avenue.
Witnesses to the attempted robbery provided police with a description of a white minivan with no tag leaving the scene. After cordoning off the area and blocking streets that could have provided an exit, the van was spotted at a convenience store. As officers swarmed in, the van was forced into the K-Mart parking lot and the suspects were in custody within minutes.
That’s when they realized it was a mother and son.
But Thursday afternoon, investigators say they’ve released the mother, Sherry Jeffcoat of West Point. They say they don’t think she knew what her son tried to pull off.
Police say 29-year-old Joshua Jeffcoat gave the pharmacist a note that said he had a gun and demanding Xanax and other narcotics.
He then ran from the store and jumped into the minivan with his unsuspecting mom.
Officers said the mother never tried to speed away, leading them to believe her story that she didn’t know what was going on. In fact, when she got out of the van surrounded by officers with their guns drawn, she said she was only trying to fill a prescription.
Meanwhile, as her son was being placed in a patrol car, he yelled several times, “I love you mom.”
Police say Joshua Jeffcoat recently had moved back in with his mom from Huntsville, Alabama. He apparently asked her to take him to get a prescription filled without her knowledge of his intentions.
He’s being held without bond for now.
Police say cooperation, quick response, good witnesses and some recent training came together in the quick arrest.
“High visibility, cutting-edge technology and training led us to…and then good old fashioned police work led us to the apprehension of these two suspects,” Police Chief Selvain McQueen said.
“The patrol division, investigators, Sheriff’s Department, everyone did a lot of things right. We’ve got some things to tweak but we got good information, got it out quickly, got the escape routes blocked off…it was good work,” McQueen said.
“We’ve been spending some time going over these type situations in training and procedures. It paid off. And you can’t say enough about the agencies cooperating,” he added.