PIGGOTT, AR (KAIT)- A string of burglaries in Piggott and the surrounding communities has residents on edge. Crimes occurring at the Open Roads Motel and Subway in Piggott, Jordon's Boot and Shoe Store in Corning, and Casey's General Store in Campbell, Missouri. But, new developments might give citizens some relief.
"She said the guy came in, was in a hoodie and a bandana. He followed her around the counter and said you know what to do," says Dawn Stokes, who works at the Subway in Piggott.
"Everybody is nervous. When a customer comes in that's not one of our regulars, you question that," she says. Stokes wasn't working the night of the incident but says, adjustments have been made to ensure safety. "Our midnight shift doubled up. If one person was scared to stay one night, another one was there with them."
"This is a milestone for Piggott to have this type of robbery. It just doesn't happen here in Piggott," says Piggott Police Chief Bill Alstadt. "A few weeks ago we had a robbery at a motel, and just within a few days we had a Subway store with the same circumstances. Within another few days we had an armed Robbery involved in Corning, 26 miles from us, and another in Campbell, Missouri," he says.
Four robberies within a three week period. But, with help from the Campbell PD, Dunklin County Sheriff's Office and Corning PD, the investigation moved quickly. "We pieced together enough information that Friday morning we conducted a search warrant on a house here in Piggott," says Alstadt.
37 years-old Johnny Yarbrough was arrested in connection with the Piggott and Corning robberies, with charges still pending in Campbell. Yarbrough is also being charged with drug offences, along with his girlfriend Sherry Fuller, after police found marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and components to manufacture meth.
"Opens a lot of people's eyes up that our world has changed. Piggott's been a quiet town. You know we've been kind of been called Mayberry for years. So I think they'll be a little bit more cautious," says Alstadt.
As for Stokes, she's just relieved the criminal is off the streets. "We were jumping up and down. You feel safe."
Yarbrough is currently in the Clay County Jail with a 250,000 dollar bond in both Piggott and Corning. Campbell has not yet set a bond. Yarbrough will appear in circuit court in November.