Corpus Christi police have made an arrest in connection with the Saturday morning armed robbery at the Dollar General store on the 3100 block of Morgan Avenue.
A traffic accident that happened just after the robbery may have been the key to police acquiring their suspect.
Tips called in to detectives led them to 46-year old Juan Vela. He turned himself in to officers in the parking lot of City Hall at around 10:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Vela is accused of robbing the Dollar General store at knife point. During that robbery, a store clerk received a cut on her finger when the suspect slashed at her with the blade. He allegedly made off with an undetermined amount of money and fled the scene in a sports utility vehicle.
Police are still trying to determine if the Dollar General store robbery was in any way related to a robbery later that day at a bank inside of the Wal-Mart on Greenwood.
Vela was in a traffic accident just a few hours after the alleged robbery. Addison Gregg said Vela ran into the back of his truck, and he took pictures to prove it.
Gregg said he called police to come investigate the rear end accident after Vela started becoming combative.
"I was going home on Saturday, probably around two o'clock, and I was at the Saratoga and Ayers light and I got rear ended by him," Gregg said. "And first thing I did was grab my camera and jumped out and started documenting the accident, taking pictures of my vehicle, then his vehicle."
"That was great that he was able to take those photographs. Most importantly if, if it was the same person that was in this series of events -- which are, in these crimes and robberies, are violent crimes -- we're very pleased that this individual wasn't hurt," said Senior Officer Kirk Stowers of the Corpus Christi Police Department. "We're pleased that it worked out in the way that it has."
Vela was booked into the City Detention Center and charged with aggravated robbery. His bond has been set at $100,000.
If police determine that Vela was also involved in the bank robbery at the Wal-Mart on Greenwood, that bond would no doubt be increased.
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