Suspect in robbery of Bainbridge Dollar General arrested

Walter Johnathan Barden, 25, of Bainbridge
Walter Johnathan Barden, 25, of Bainbridge
Walter Johnathan Barden, 25, of Bainbridge

Bainbridge Public Safety formally charged Walter Jonathan Barden, 25, of Bainbridge,  with armed robbery on Thursday.

Barden is accused of using the threat of a gun to hold up the Dollar General at 1616 E. Shotwell Street on December 13, 2014, said BPS Investigator Mark Esquivel. (See Related Story: Man sought in armed robbery at Dollar General)

According to Esquivel, Barden had been a suspect in the case “almost since the beginning” of investigation, because some of his actions around Bainbridge drew the attention of Public Safety officers.

“Officers stopped his car on the [U.S. 27/84 bypass] and he was seen throwing an object out of the car,” Esquivel said. “It turned out to be a B.B. gun that looked like a real gun.”

However, at some point Barden left town and went to Moultrie, Ga., Esquivel said. Bainbridge Public Safety put out a wanted flyer asking the public where he might be on January 30. Bainbridge Public Safety investigators worked with the Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office to locate Barden, who was arrested on a parole violation on January 26 and brought back to Bainbridge.

More than one person who knew Barden also came forward and told BPS investigators that Barden had allegedly made statements that made them believe he might be involved in the armed robbery at the Dollar General.

According to Bainbridge Public Safety, a man wearing a bright orange hoodie sweatshirt and jeans came went into the Dollar General at about 6:05 p.m. on a Saturday and approached a cashier. While pointing a gun at her, the man demanded cash from the register, however, the cashier was so frightened she stumbled backward and fell.

The robber turned to a customer who had been looking at a nearby display and took $40 in cash she had been holding in her hand. The robber then fled.

The incident was captured on the store’s video surveillance camera.

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