A Rose Hill man has been detained at the Jasper County Jail after he was taken into custody last Wednesday (May 26) by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department and other authorities prior to what they believe was an attempt to rob the United States Post Office in Stringer.
Jasper County Sheriff Randy Jonhnson said Damion Dukes, 22, fled from near the Post Office Wednesday morning after appearing to prepare for what could have been an attempted robbery. Unbeknownst to Dukes at the time, the Sheriff’s Department had already received a tip that he was going to try and pull off a heist at the Post Office that morning.
Dukes, according to Johnson, is also a prime suspect in another recent Post Office robbery in Pachuta where approximately $1,300 was stolen. He also is a suspect in several other burglaries that have occurred around the county.
“We received a tip that there was a possibility that the Stringer Post Office was going to be broken into sometime that morning. I had been in contact with the Postal Service before because they had a burglary over in Pachuta, and we think the same person involved in that was going to be the one that did this one,” explained Johnson. “I contacted the Postal Inspectors out of Jackson, and six agents came over that morning.
“We stationed around town watching the Post Office, and things unfolded like I was told they would. The person (Dukes) actually never got on the Post Office grounds. He suited up or got ready to do what we would think of as a robbery, as far as putting a hoodie on, putting a mask over the face, and taking socks off and putting them over his hands. He walked up, and came from Dollar General way. We had people observing him the whole way. When he got on the Buster Hamm Building road, he stopped, fixed his mask over his face, zipped his hoodie around his face, and took his shoes off and put his socks on (his hands). He proceeded towards the Post Office and went in the bushes behind an old abandoned store and hid there for 15 or 20 minutes. He came back out and walked to the stop sign, and something must have alerted him. He then turned, left, and started running. We apprehended him then.”
Johnson went on to say the investigation is still ongoing and has been handed over to Postal Inspectors. He believes federal charges will be brought forth against Dukes by the Postal Service for the armed robbery in Pachuta and for the attempted robbery in Stringer.
“No weapon was recovered (last Wednesday), but it looked like he certainly had the intentions (of robbing),” Johnson said. “According to the CI (Confidential Informant), the guy had told him all about how he was going to do it (at the Stringer Post Office), and it played out.”