Fingerprints lead to arrest of prolific strong-armed robber
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced the arrest of Chico Jermaine Bell, 43, who is charged with three counts of strong-armed robbery.
Lott added that Bell may be charged with additional crimes following a string of strong-armed robberies in Richland County, and throughout the cities of Columbia, Forest Acres, and West Columbia.
Bell was finally caught thanks to forensic work, after RCSD Crime Scene Investigators identified him through latent prints left at one of the crime scenes.
The sheriff stated Bell is responsible for committing the following crimes in Richland County, using a similar tactic in each incident:
· Tuesday, January 3, 2017 – 7925 Wilson Boulevard (Dollar General): Bell reached in to the cash register and stole cash then fled the area. The RCSD Crime Lab processed the scene and recovered latent prints belonging to Bell at the scene.
· Monday, December 12, 2016 – 7925 Wilson Boulevard (Dollar General): Bell pretended to purchase an item from the business and when the employee opened the register Bell stole the cash and fled the area.
· Tuesday, December 13, 2016 – 3004 Broad River Road (Circle K): Bell pretended to purchase an item from the business and as the employee opened the register Bell stole the cash and fled the area.
Bell remains in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.