Detectives: Robbery trio caught following Walmart purse snatching

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 21, 2013 

Nine armed robberies cleared after three arrests

With the arrest of three men, police believe they have found the culprits in nine armed robberies that affected businesses in the Warm Springs Road, Manchester Expressway and Milgen Road area, according to a press release. Dominique Hugh Leonard, 17, William Leonard, 20, and Darius Pollard, 17, are suspected in nine burglaries committed between Oct. 11 and Nov. 16.

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Snatching a woman's purse in Walmart was the beginning of the end for Dominique Leonard.

The 17 year old, along with alleged cohorts William Leonard and Darius Pollard, are accused of armed robberies at nine businesses in the Milgen Road and Manchester Expressway area, in addition to charges for several robberies of individuals.

During a Thursday morning Recorder's Court hearing, 20-year-old William Leonard faced 10 counts of armed robbery, possession of marijuana and robbery.

Dominique Leonard was charged with three aggravated assaults, seven possessions of firearms during the commission of a crime and seven armed robberies.

Pollard was charged with 13 armed robberies, 13 possessions of firearms during the commission of a crime, four aggravated assaults and one robbery.

A detective told the court that police were first able to connect Dominique with a Warm Springs Road Shell Mart robbery when his description matched October surveillance footage of a teen snatching a woman's purse in the Gateway Road Walmart. An anonymous call identifying Dominique as the thief gave police another reason to pursue the suspected connection.

Hopeful, officers pieced together a photo line up for Shell gas station employees — all of whom fingered Dominique.

It wasn't until Nov. 18 that police received another anonymous tip — this one informing police that Dominique and other potential robbers were staying at the Thunderbird Motel on Victory Drive.

When police first responded, they began following a man matching Dominique's description, and initiated a traffic stop. It was his brother William driving, however. After police found William with 0.3 grams of marijuana, he told officers his brother and Pollard were staying in the motel.

Police obtained search warrants for the room and detained Pollard and Dominique. Inside, they found 0.3 grams of cocaine inside the toilet back chamber, which Dominique claimed. Two guns — a Smith & Wesson .38 special and Smith and Wesson .40 — and clothing matching those the robbers were described wearing were also found.

During private questioning, the suspects allegedly admitted to the following crimes:

• Dominique Leonard told officers he robbed the Circle K on Milgen Road, where he allegedly held a customer at gunpoint; Pleasure World; the Shell Mart on Warm Springs Road and the Circle K on 12th Avenue.

• Pollard admitted to the same robberies as Dominique, in addition to both robberies committed at the Manchester Expressway Captain D's, the Domino's Pizza on Milgen Road and the Williams Road Summit gas station. He also said he robbed a woman of her purse at 6381 Milgen Road, and beat up a friend who tried to defend the same robbery victim.

• Both Dominique and Pollard accused William Leonard of ferrying the two to various robberies, including the Gateway Road Walmart purse snatching.

During Thursday's hearing, Dominique and Pollard repeated their involvement in the armed robberies, despite entering not guilty please. Dominique also said his brother did not drive them around, and was not aware of the crimes they were going to commit.

When asked about the purse snatching, William told the court that he originally drove Dominique to Walmart to get an auxiliary cord. His brother ran out of the store shortly after, saying he robbed a woman to buy weed.

Pollard denied his alleged aggravated assault against the Milgen Road woman who tried to defend her friend from getting robbed.

Judge Michael Cielinski set no bond on any of the suspect's armed robbery charges. A bond of $850,000 was set for Dominique's remaining charges. William's was set at $51,000, and Pollard's was set at $900,000.

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