A Parsons man released from jail a week ago on his own recognizance after pleading to two felonies is back in custody on suspicion of aggravated robbery.

Parsons police arrested Tyrell L. Dorsey, 19, of Parsons early Thursday in a Parsons home on Ward Avenue after he was seen with another man near 26th and Southern Avenue. At the time, police were searching for suspects in an armed robbery that was reported at 2:46 a.m. Thursday at Pete’s, 32nd and Main. 

In the robbery, two men, who were identified by police as Black, entered the store and simulated that they were armed and demanded money. The two left the store on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. Police began to search the residential areas around the store for the suspects.

Police Officer Keenan Roberts observed the two men who generally matched the description of the robbery suspects near 26th and Southern. When he approached them they ran into a field, Police Chief Robert Spinks said. A K-9 unit from the Labette County Sheriff’s Office was requested and followed a track to the house in the 1200 block of Ward. Dorsey was found inside a home and arrested.

“It was a pretty strong track that didn’t deviate and headed to that residence,” Spinks said.

He didn’t know if Dorsey had a connection to the residence but the property owner told police no one was supposed to be in the home.

A search of the home resulted in the recovery of evidence connected to the robbery, Spinks said, though he would not say what was found. The second suspect has not been located.

Dorsey had a plea hearing Feb. 18 via Zoom from the Labette County Jail, where he was being held on bonds totaling $30,000 on three cases. He pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, aggravated domestic battery, both felonies, and possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal trespass, both misdemeanors. The crimes occurred Oct. 12, 2020, at 23rd and Clark when Dorsey was seen choking a woman. He ran as police arrived and was caught and arrested. Police found a baggie that contained methamphetamine in his jacket pocket. Dorsey will be sentenced on April 2. He was released on his own recognizance as part of the plea and as accepted by Judge Steve Stockard because Dorsey is expected to get probation in the case. Two other pending criminal cases, one alleging burglary and criminal threat and the other possession of opiates and other counts, are to be dismissed at sentencing. 

Spinks said police are continuing to follow up on leads in the Pete’s robbery case.

“I want to thank the citizens who called and reported this crime. Their timely reporting allowed for a quick police response and the capture of the first suspect without any injury to officers or the general public,” Spinks said in the statement. 

Deputy Chief Dennis Dodd said the police slogan of see it, hear it, report it chalked up another successful citizen-police partnership.

“I also want to thank the victims at the convenience store for their calmness,” Dodd said. “In a constitutional carry state like Kansas, these suspects are lucky that they didn’t meet their demise at the hands of a patron walking into store this morning. If you simulate that you have a gun and demand money, well folks are going to think you are a fully capable felonious robber and you could easily get shot.”

Spinks congratulated Officer Roberts for locating the suspects that led to the capture of Dorsey.

“His quick response and that of the other night shift officers ensured that our suspect was rapidly and safely taken into custody,” Spinks said. “This is another win for the community, the department and our patrol force.” 

Spinks also said police do have a concern in a concealed carry state like Kansas that a robbery could create a circumstance in which someone could get injured. It’s happened in other concealed carry states, he said.

Criminals could be putting their lives on the line in states where citizens have a right to defend themselves.

“You do bad things in Kansas the risk is potentially higher,” Spinks said.

Acting Commander Kyle Wiford is coordinating the investigation into the Pete’s robbery and citizens are encouraged to “see it, hear it, report it.” If anyone has further information on this robbery or other criminal activity, contact the Parsons Police Department at 421-7060, call the tip line at 421-7057 or email tips@parsonspd.com.

This is the fourth robbery in a month. 

Dollar General was robbed at 9:09 a.m. Feb. 15 by a white man who wielded a black handgun. Police identified a possible getaway vehicle and witnesses saw it leaving Parsons later that afternoon. A day later, Erie police, assisted by Parsons police, arrested a person of interest in the robbery, Benjamin Queen, 37, of Oswego. He remains jailed in Neosho County. Spinks said police are awaiting forensic testing to be completed on evidence collected in the robberies.

The first recent robbery occurred at 2:08 p.m. Jan. 26 at Advance America Payday Loans, 2222 Main. A suspect wearing a wig, hat, mask and dark jacket and brandishing a black handgun escaped with money from the store. The second robbery occurred at 6:44 p.m. Jan. 29 at AuBurn Pharmacy inside King Cash Saver, 2020 Main. A white man between 5-foot, 8-inches and 5-foot, 10-inches tall wearing a black mask, black hoodie, black gloves and brown overalls robbed the pharmacy of medication. He was last seen running south from the store armed with a pistol with a black grip and silver on top.

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