Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) detectives arrested a man on Tuesday who allegedly robbed two Dollar General stores last week.
According to a CCSO report, detectives apprehended Emmanuel Ratliff, 32, at the Windsong Apartments complex in Lake City after gathering forensic and physical evidence from both crime scenes and receiving information from a witness.
The first robbery occurred on Aug. 16 at the Dollar General store located near the intersection of State Road 247 and County Road 252B. Ratliff allegedly walked into the store and behaved suspiciously, and clerks distanced themselves from the suspect. He then tampered with the cash register, opened it and stole an undisclosed amount of money before leaving the store.
The second robbery happened on Aug. 20 at the Dollar General store located near the intersection of County Road 240 and SR 247 where Ratliff allegedly attempted to load money on a prepaid card but, when the transaction failed, he started tampering with the computer and was able to load money onto the card. According to CCSO, Ratliff threatened store clerks with a bottle of gasoline to get them to open the cash register. When the clerks refused, Ratliff fled the store.
“Cooperation between citizens and law enforcement once again helped solve these crimes so quickly,” said Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter in a statement. “I am proud of our team for conducting such a thorough investigation and gathering the necessary evidence to be able to identify this suspect. Hopefully, this will ensure that he is unable to endanger anyone else for a long time.”
Ratliff’s criminal history includes home invasion, fleeing and eluding, burglary of an occupied dwelling, battery, and resisting arrest. He was booked into the Columbia County Detention Facility with no bond.