Smithville Police have charged 25 year old Tiffany Gora in the February 21st armed robbery of the Discount Tobacco Outlet Store at 302 West Broad Street, Smithville.
Gora is charged with one count of aggravated robbery. She is currently incarcerated in Coffee County, where she is charged with committing a similar offense on February 24th at a Discount Tobacco Outlet Store in Manchester.
According to Chief Richard Jennings, Gora has confessed to the Smithville robbery. "Detective Jerry Hutchins, Jr went to the Coffee County Jail this morning (Monday) and obtained a full confession from her. Gora stated that she was the person who robbed the tobacco store here in Smithville and that after the robbery she used the money to buy narcotics."
Chief Jennings says police initially thought a man committed the robbery based upon a statement given by the store clerk on the night of the incident. " There was a surveillance video in the tobacco store. Detective Hutchins reviewed the surveillance video but it didn't tell us a whole lot. However, we were suspicious on the front end because the person who performed the robbery never spoke. It was a female who did the actual robbery and I think she was afraid that if she spoke they would realize it was a female."
According to Gora's statement to police, she used a toy gun to commit the Smithville robbery. "The gun was a toy gun, a wooden gun painted black, not a real firearm. But it doesn't make any difference, it's still robbery and carries the same penalty as an actual weapon", said Chief Jennings.
Detective Hutchins says Smithville Police and authorities in Coffee County worked together to solve the crimes. "They knew who it was or had a name. I helped provide some information to locate them. They obtained the tag number off of a vehicle used in the robbery up there so their information and mine together solved the cases."
Detective Hutchins' report on the robbery, based on the store clerk's account, states that on February 21st at 5:43 p.m. I arrived at the Discount Tobacco Store. Upon arrival I made contact with the store clerk, Carolyn Frances Humphrey, who advised me that she was over by the coffee station on the east side of the store when a young man came into the store. He pointed a gun at her and motioned her over to the register. She complied. When she got to the register, he motioned for her to open it and give him the money. Ms. Humphrey stated that he never said a word. She then said that after he took the money he left eastbound on foot. He was described as a white male, 18 or 19 years old, about 160 pounds, 5 foot, 8 inches tall, with brown hair and looked like he needed a shave. The gun looked like a semi-automatic. She said he got about $200 to $225."
Chief Jennings, on Monday, would not disclose the exact amount of cash taken, saying it was several hundred dollars.
The Manchester Times reported last week that Gora and 39 year old Donald Taylor of Manchester are charged in the Coffee County case. Bond for each is $50,000 bond and they will be in Coffee County General Sessions Court March 4th.
According to the report, Gora allegedly went into the store around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday (February 24th) armed with a handgun and demanded money from the clerk. Gora, who was dressed in camouflage, left the store with an undisclosed amount of cash. But on her way out, she dropped the gun, before getting into a waiting Ford F-150 pickup truck, driven by Taylor, and leaving the scene.
They were spotted Thursday morning and taken into custody by Manchester Police and officers of the Coffee County Sheriff's Department
Police say Gora used a BB gun during the robbery and, according to an investigator, the two admitted to committing the crime to get money to buy drugs to further their habit.