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Clothing Helps Police Catch Robbery Suspect

July 27, 2012, 9:55 PM by David Brown

Clothing Helps Police Catch Robbery Suspect
Russell Wayne Hodgkiss


The suspect accused of a couple of robberies in Sioux Falls this week has been arrested. But the circumstances that led to his arrest involve both a familiar face and familiar clothing.

19-year-old Russell Wayne Hodgkiss is charged with two robberies on Tuesday morning, one at the Get-N-Go on 10th Street, and another at the Super America on 41st Street. But it was what happened Saturday that helped police arrest him. An officer recognized Hodgkiss from a police stop Saturday night in relation to a shoplifting call at Dollar General Store on 41st Street.

"The suspect was wearing the exact same clothes," Sioux Falls police officer Sam Clemens said. "She ended up passing that on to detectives. They were able to pull up video not only from her car camera, but also the store where the shoplifting took place."

The officer didn't arrest Hodgkiss on Saturday due to insufficient evidence. After the encounter, Hodgkiss allegedly stole a van on Sunday before reportedly committing the two robberies on Tuesday.

"We have detectives that are constantly sending out pictures of unknown suspects and those get filtered throughout the police department," Clemens said.

Clemens says the clothing was an obvious help in capturing Hodgkiss. But the ability of officers to recognize whom they encounter is a trait that goes a long way.

"Between all the officials in the police department and the sheriff's deputies, quite frequently, we're able to identify people just from the normal contacts that happen day to day," Clemens said.

And now, Hodgkiss is behind bars in very different clothing.

It's unlikely Hodgkiss will be charged with shoplifting because it's unknown what was allegedly stolen. He still faces three counts, two for 1st degree robbery and one for possession of a stolen vehicle. Bond was set at $100,000 Friday afternoon.

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