Robbery hits home

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 30, 2008

VIDALIA — When Sue Cockerham heard a noise under her house at about 7:20 Tuesday morning, she just thought it was neighborhood dogs rattling her pipes.

“I said ‘Dang that’s a big dog,’” Cockerham said. “Normally I will go out and yell at the dogs, but for some reason I kept watching Fox News.”

It was then she got a call from her neighbor asking if she had her doors locked.

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“She said, ‘They’re chasing two guys and (a neighbor) saw them and said they went into your front yard,’” Cockerham said. “I sat up and said, ‘They are under my trailer.’”

Two men, Ronnie Lendrell Cooper, 18, 16 Langford St., Monroe, and Derius Rayshan Jordan, 21, 521 Peniston St., Sicily Island, had allegedly failed in an attempt to rob the nearby Dodge’s convenience store earlier Tuesday morning, and were fleeing from authorities on foot.

The robbery never even came close to fruition, Dodge Store Manager Lynne Manoley said.

“Someone apparently had the sense to notice something was out of the ordinary and call the police,” Manoley said. “We’re pretty busy, and local law enforcement stays in the area and helps us out, so nothing really happened here.”

Back at Cockerham’s house, when she called the sheriff’s office, she was told they were busy searching for two men who had tried to commit a robbery.

“I said, ‘They’re under my trailer,’ and within 30 seconds to a minute the police showed up,” Cockerham said.

Walking to her front door, Cockerham said she pointed to where she heard the noise and went back to the bedroom where she could watch out of a window.

“The deputies were very professional,” she said. “They just got them out and put them in the car.”

The incident made an impression on Cockerham, she said, but she said it hasn’t left her insecure.

“I’m not scared, but I bet I pay a lot more attention to whether or not my door is locked in the future,” she said.

Cooper and Jordan were arrested on charges of attempted armed robbery, flight from an officer and criminal trespass.

Jordan was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and probation and parole violation.