By Jason A. Smith
A Hampton man, already behind bars in Henry County for allegedly stealing money from a local restaurant, has seen his bond increased from $50,000, to $60,000, after being charged with a second crime.
Tromethus Seon Brooks, 27, is charged with two counts of robbery. He appeared Tuesday in Henry County Magistrate Court, represented by the Public Defender's Office, in reference to one of the charges. Judge Robert Godwin set the suspect's bond at $10,000 on the charge, and bound the case over to Superior Court.
At the time of his court appearance, Brooks was being held in the Henry County Jail with a $50,000 bond, in a separate case.
Hampton Police charged Brooks Friday with an alleged robbery May 19, at approximately 2:15 a.m., at the Kangaroo gas station located at 32 East Main St. Police Detective Jeremy Pirtle alleges that Brooks entered the store and asked a clerk for help with a hot-dog roller.
"She went to the back," Pirtle said, "and he ran behind the counter and took some lottery tickets and cigarettes. He attempted to stuff them in his pockets, and when she came back out, he asked her to get something else out of the back -- some other kind of food. When she went to the back, he ran behind the counter again, and began grabbing more cigarettes off the shelves," the detective reported.
Brooks, the detective continued, tried unsuccessfully to stuff the stolen items in his pockets, before the clerk returned to the counter.
"He ... was dropping them everywhere," said Pirtle. "He gathered them up in his arms, and started to leave from behind the counter. She came out from the back and caught him. She tried to stop him, and ... he grabbed her, shoved her out of the way and ran past her and ran out of the store."
Pirtle described the case against Brooks as "pretty straightforward." The suspect, said the detective, has a "history of theft," and has been linked to the robbery through surveillance footage at the gas station.
"The video that we have of him at the Kangaroo is really clear," said Pirtle. "I've known him for a number of years, and it's really obvious who he is."
Brooks' initial robbery charge reportedly occurred in Hampton, also on May 19. A Hampton Police report by Officer Bruce Mims states that the suspect, at approximately 9 p.m., stole $20 from an employee of the Blimpie restaurant at 108 Woolsey Road.
The following day, according to Officer Mims, Brooks came to the police department to confess to both robberies. "Brooks ... walked up to me and stated, 'Officer Mims, I took some things from the Kangaroo gas station, and I also snatched money from a guy working at Blimpie,'" the officer wrote.
Police issued a warrant the day after both alleged robberies, for Brooks' arrest in the Blimpie case. He remained in the jail Tuesday.