A Loganville man wanted in connection with an armed robbery and shooting of a Cornelia restaurant employee was captured outside a Newton County convenience store Tuesday night.
Joseph C. Crawford, 30, was being sought in connection with the July 22 robbery of the Cornelia Little Caesars pizza restaurant, where an employee was shot in the head.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said shortly after 6 p.m., a clerk at a Newton County store recognized Crawford from an alert that had been distributed to statewide news media. The clerk triggered a silent alarm and authorities responded. Agents with the GBI and U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force were already in the area pursuing a lead that Crawford was in Newton County and responded to the store.
Bankhead said Crawford tried to flee out a back door, but the door was covered by officers and he was arrested without incident.
Crawford first became a suspect in the robbery and shooting while Loganville police were investigating a separate case, Cornelia Police Department Lt. Jonathan Roberts said.
“We went there and confirmed that information,” Roberts said.
Police searched Crawford’s home early Tuesday, but he was not there. Authorities released a “Kimberly’s Call” with information about Crawford’s appearance and cars Tuesday morning.
Roberts said so far, investigators have not developed any connection between Crawford and anyone in Habersham County.
“His M.O., according to the people who know him, is to pick a location at random,” Roberts said.
The Little Caesars restaurant is located just off Ga. 441.
According to Georgia Department of Corrections records, Crawford served two years and seven months in prison for entering auto and theft by receiving stolen property convictions in Gwinnett and Fulton counties.
The condition of the woman Crawford is accused of shooting during the robbery, Kathy Hamilton, is improving, Roberts said. Hamilton, who was shot in the forehead during the robbery, has been moved from Grady Memorial Hospital to a physical therapy rehabilitation facility, Roberts said.
“She’s doing miraculously well, considering,” he said.
Crawford will be taken to the Habersham County Jail, where he will be held on charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault.