Cedartown police Saturday were still investigating the incident, which occurred at about 9 p.m. Thursday at the department store at 550 N. Main St., said Cedartown Assistant Police Chief Jamie Newsome.
According to Newsome:
Kelly Jack Mayo, 45, of Fort Payne, Ala., was charged with felony armed robbery, felony kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of felony imprisonment.
Newsome said the Cedartown police are communicating with Alabama law enforcement agencies. Mayo is a suspect in a similar armed robbery of another Fred’s store in Alabama recently, he said. He confirmed Saturday that Mayo is a former Fred’s chain store employee from Alabama.
Mayo reportedly entered the Cedartown Fred’s store right before closing. Mayor reportedly tied up the cashier and left her by herself as he proceeded to continue his robbery attempt. The woman was able to free herself from her binds and called 911.
“Three Cedartown police officers responded, followed immediately by two county police,” Newsome said. “They secured the building outside before he could leave.”
Upon realizing that his escape was blocked by police, Mayo reportedly took one of the two store employees hostage at gunpoint. Mayo then forced the woman out the back door, which was being watched by two law enforcement officers. The hostage had her vehicle parked behind the building.
“He then used her as a human shield,” Newsome said. “He put her behind the wheel and forced her to drive at gunpoint.”
Officers witnessed the employee’s vehicle pull out headed toward a residential area behind the shopping center. Newsome said the Cedartown police shift supervisor on duty decided to try and resolve the situation immediately, rather than risking allowing Mayo to escape with the hostage.
Mayo’s vehicle was rammed by a police cruiser to prevent his escape, Newsome said. He was taken into custody without any shot being fired, and the hostage was released without injury.
Mayo remained in custody Saturday at the Polk County Jail.
Rome News-Tribune Staff Writer Jeremy Stewart and Cedartown Standard Editor and Publisher Lowell Vickers contributed to this story.