SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah-Chatham metro police continue to investigate a robbery ring that led to the high-profile arrest of three Savannah men and tied together as many as 16 street robberies.
The arrests of Derrick Middleton, 20; Kenya Parker, 22; and Marvin Bryant Jr., 20; all of Savannah, were the result of work of some 30 detectives and undercover officers who staked out portions of the community for five consecutive nights.
Detectives are still investigating the possibility that other may have been involved in the crime ring and other crimes could have been included.
The special task force was set up under the direction of SCMPD Robbery Det. Sgt. Laprentice Mayes after police recognized similarities in the robberies in various areas of the city and detected a steady increase in the brazenness of the suspects, according to SCMPD.
SARIC analyst Lisa Chisholm compiled information including most frequent times the robberies occurred, descriptions of the suspects, direction of travel and possible vehicles used.
The task force members then saturated the anticipated crime areas.
Forensics Unit's Star Cpl. Dennis Malott recovered evidence from a victim's vehicle and Star Cpl. Mike Hendrix carefully examined it and processed it, identifying Bryant as the suspect, according to police.
Police said that in most cases the robbery suspects' description was the same, phrases spoke by them during the crimes were similar and that the suspects took cell phones, cash, wallets or purses and cigarettes from their victims.
Detectives, Neighborhood Task Force officers, Tactical Reaction and Prevention team members met nightly with an analyst from the SCMPD Savannah Area Regional Intelligence Center before staking out areas between Gaston and Park Avenue and 33rd and 42 Streets.
Using that information, the Neighborhood Task Force arrested Parker and Middleton at 33rd and Ott Streets on Sept. 7. One of the guns described in the robberies was recovered.
The next afternoon, a Neighborhood Task Force officer recognized Bryant in the front seat of a Red Dodge Charger. Police said a multi-car pursuit followed the car to the 1300 block of 40th Street, where Bryant and the other two occupants got out of the car and ran to a vacant house on 39th Street, which police immediately surrounded.
Bryant, the two suspects who were in the car with him and seven other men were discovered by police. Bryant was arrested and the other men were questioned.
A search warrant was issued and drugs and weapons also were recovered from the house, according to police.
Bryant had been identified by the special robbery team as a potential participant in some robberies, but it was only after he was being questioned later that police realized the two strings of robberies were connected.
Police also recovered two stolen vehicles being used in the robberies.