Johnson City, Kansas--The couple wanted in the murder of a Jackson, Mississippi jewelry store/pawn shop owner and his two employees were arrested early Wednesday following a police chase in rural Kansas.
Joshua M. Garcia, 37, of Biloxi, Mississippi, and Jamieson L. Townsend, 35, of Blue Springs, Missouri, were taken into custody by a Geary County sheriff’s deputy shortly after midnight Wednesday morning, the Jewelers Security Alliance said via an email alert that went out Wednesday afternoon.
The Jackson Police Department said via Twitter that both are being charged with three counts of capital murder and one count of armed robbery of a business, and face extradition from Kansas to Mississippi.
The manhunt for the couple and their red Dodge Charger started after Jackson police discovered Saturday evening that 81-year-old Bill Mosley, the owner of Bill’s Pawn Jewelry Coin/Stamp Exchange, and his two employees, 60-year-old Robert Ivy and 70-year-old Ted McLemore, had been shot to death during a robbery at the store.
The JSA was offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the suspects’ arrest.
On Monday, a trooper in Coffee County, Tennessee, tried to pull over Garcia and Townsend because the Charger did not have tags, WKRN reported, but the couple managed to elude the trooper.
After midnight on Wednesday morning, Garcia and Townsend were stopped by law enforcement again, about 980 miles northwest in Johnson City, Kansas.
There, the JSA said, a Geary County sheriff’s deputy pulled over the Charger because it didn’t have any registration displayed. The couple tried to get away again and the deputy gave chase, pursuing Garcia and Townsend down a dead-end road where Garcia wrecked the car and then fled on foot.
According to the JSA, Townsend was arrested at the scene of the crash while Garcia was found about a mile away hiding in the back seat of a vehicle.
Garcia has a record that includes convictions for armed robbery, burglary, receiving stolen property and grand larceny stretching back to 1999 and according to The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, he was paroled in 2014 and no longer under observation as of January 2015.
Townsend’s LinkedIn profile states that she is a graduate of Graceland University in Des Moines, Iowa and worked as registered nurse, though the information the JSA supplied stated that her nursing license expired last year. She has two children, though it was not immediately clear if they are with Garcia.
The couple also is wanted in connection with the Dec. 13 robbery of a jewelry store in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The loss of Mosley, Ivy and McLemore mark the third, fourth and fifth members of the jewelry industry killed while on the job in 2016. Leopolda Velda was shot to death inside his store, Corona Jewelry in Milwaukee, on Halloween, and traveling salesman Muhammed Shaikh was murdered in Dallas in June.