Councilwoman robbed at gunpoint, three robbers armed with assault rifles

Early Sunday morning on West Martin Place Avenue in Pine Bluff, City Councilwoman Joni Alexander was robbed by three men armed with assault rifles.

Alexander’s home security camera captured the incident.

When she noticed the robbers, she screamed and one of the robbers told her to “shut up.”

One of the three armed assailants snatched her purse and they all ran away. As they ran away, shots were fired in the air.

“Does it take all of that to rob a woman of her purse,” said Alexander.

In her purse were two cell phones, credit cards, cash, and a handgun, amounting to over $4,000 in stolen belongings.

The Councilwoman was able to ping her phone to two separate homes on Chesnut Street, which is a short walk away from her home. After investigating, according to the police report, everything except the handgun had been burned or destroyed.

She says, “they got absolutely nothing out of it, other than just terrorizing the neighborhood.”

Thirty-year-old Rodney Whitmore has been arrested and charged with aggravated robbery and theft of property. But two out of three suspects are still out there, which leaves Alexander feeling “a bit uneasy” because the suspects know where she lives.

At one of those homes on Chesnut Street that pinged Councilwoman Alexander’s phone, two juveniles were taken into custody and questioned with their parents present and then released.

She says with incidents like this happening to so many people, as a city leader, “she would not be doing her position justice if she didn’t share” her experience.

In January, Councilwoman Alexander announced she would not seek re-election. She says this incident confirmed that she made the right decision.

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