Sylvester police make arrest in restaurant robbery

Wendell Carl Thomas is accused of armed robbery at Sylvester Hot Wok restaurant

SYLVESTER — The Sylvester Police Department has made an arrest in the Monday armed robbery of the Hot Wok restaurant at 105 E. Franklin Str. Police Lt. Ronnie Graddy said Wendell Carl Thomas, aka “Little Dooley,” was apprehended within 30 minutes of the robbery.

According to police reports, about 8:30 p.m. Monday, a black male, wearing all black and having his face covered, entered the restaurant armed with a small handgun. The gunman tied up the two store employees and robbed the store.

The gunman then left the business in an attempt to flee when Sgt. Nicole White, Cpl. Jonathan Luna, Ptl. Adam Celinski, and Ptl. Sarah McCrary boxed in the suspect in a small wooded area where he was apprehended.

The money from the store was recovered, as was the firearm Sylvester police say was used in the robbery.

Thomas was transported to the Sylvester Police Department, where he was booked with two counts of armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of false imprisonment, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Thomas was being held Tuesday in the Worth County Jail.

This is not Thomas’ first brush with the law. He was a person of interest for a home invasion armed robbery that occurred on Pamela Drive in Sylvester on Aug. 22, and another home invasion armed robbery that occurred on East Street in Sylvester on Sept. 26. Those investigations are still on-going.

Thomas committed an armed robbery of the Dairy Queen in Sylvester on July 30, 2006 and was incarcerated in the Georgia prison system until July 8, 2013.