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Wal-Mart armed robbery suspect found in closet on Bartlett Drive
M. Padgett
Michael Thomas Padgett - photo by Special
    Law enforcement officers found an armed robbery suspect hiding in a closet Tuesday at a Bartlett Drive home and charged him with robbing a Wal-Mart clerk at gunpoint.
    Michael Thomas Padgett, 29, is charged with armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,  possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, obstruction of an officer, aggravated assault, and probation violation stemming from the armed robbery that occurred Sunday evening at Statesboro's Wal-Mart, said Statesboro Police Maj. J. R. Holloway.
    He said the suspect, later identified as Padgett, "entered the store, armed with a gun and demanded the cashier give an undisclosed amount of cash to him," he said.
    The robbery occurred at register #5, and no one was injured during the robbery, said Det. Terry Briley, who is investigating the robbery.
    At the time of the robbery, the suspect was wearing a "dark shirt, blue jeans and a ball cap," he said.
    Further investigation led to identifying Padgett as the suspect. An anonymous tip led Det. Terry Briley to locate Padgett at a friend's house on Bartlett Drive, where Bulloch County Sheriff's deputies found him hiding in a closet, investigators said.
    Padgett has a criminal history in Georgia as well as Kansas. According to the Georgia Department of Correction's Internet web site     (, Padgett served most of a three-year sentence in Scott State Prison for Chatham County convictions in 1999 of first degree forgery, theft by receiving stolen property and obstruction.
    According to information from the Kansas Department of Corrections,  ( Padgett served time in prison for a drug charge in 2004 (sale of opiates, opium or narcotic drugs).
    He also served time for  several charges of simulated controlled substances, delivered to a child less than 18. During his incarceration in Kansas, he also has a record of disciplinary offenses while in prison that includes disruptive behavior, taking without permission, presence in a restricted area without permission, theft, and battery, according to the web site.
    Holloway asked anyone with information regarding the robbery please contact Briley at the Statesboro  Police Department  at (912) 764-9911 or the Criminal Investigation Department at (912) 764-1542.
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