Man reports ambush, robbery; suspect arrested

JONESBORO, Ark. – A man described an ambush and robbery to police in the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 17.

The Jonesboro Police Department report says just after midnight on Wednesday, officers Nathan Coleman and Aasin Lester were dispatched to the 3500-block of Krystal Drive in reference to the robbery of a person. A caller said she was outside getting her daughter’s gift from a vehicle when a man ran toward her yelling for help. The man, Theron Scott, 19, of Paragould, said he had just been beaten up and robbed.

Scott had a bloody nose, bloody mouth and was holding his side and rib area when officers arrived. Dispatch sent EMS to help him. He said his “friend,” making air quotes, brought him down to an apartment to meet someone. Inside of the apartment, he said five white males with weapons jumped him. Two had bats and three had brass knuckles, he said. 

Officers began walking toward the apartments on Krystal where the incident allegedly took place. The man then informed them the robbers had stolen his car, wallet and phone, too. He then advised they had “four ounces of meth.”

Coleman told the man to be straight with him. He asked him directly if this had been a drug deal gone bad.

Sticking with his story, Scott said his car had been stolen the day before and recovered by Paragould Police Department. He said the suspect, Douglas Leon Billips, 32, of Paragould, was identified as the driver – but Paragould PD said Scott would have to give Billips a ride before he could get his vehicle.

“This made no sense and does not sound plausible,” Coleman reported.

However, Scott insisted it was true. He said after they left the sight of the Paragould officers, Billips made him switch seats and Scott claims he was kidnapped from that point on. When they arrived at the apartments on Krystal in Jonesboro, Scott said he was dragged inside and to the stairs to where five people were waiting. Billips said he forgot something and exited. That’s when Scott said he was beaten.

The officer observed the apartment where the incident was said to have taken place and noticed a little blood. After contacting Paragould police, he was told Scott had arrived to get his vehicle at a scene and said he knew Billips and could give him a ride. Then, the officer from Paragould said he had worked multiple reports where Scott claimed to have his vehicle stolen after allowing someone to take his vehicle and they wouldn’t return it.

As the vehicle was entered into NCIC as stolen, Paragould PD found it and had arrested Billips. Coleman took custody of him at Home Place Furniture. No bats, brass knuckles or other listed stolen items were found in the vehicle, although a phone was found. Coleman received permission to look at the phone from Billips.

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Inside of the Messenger app, he observed several conversations between the phone owner and Scott. He also noticed a recent conversation with a Luis Silva stating, “I gotta get rid of him, I need a place to take him. I will drive and I will tell him I left something outside and leave, then you tell him he can’t stay there without me there.”

Billips was taken to Craighead County Detention Center, where he remains as of this publication. He faces several serious felony charges including aggravated robbery, theft of a vehicle, second degree battery, and a misdemeanor charge of theft.

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