McDNA cheese burglars cop plea

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 1, 2005

Three Emporia men who robbed the Holland Road McDonald’s at gunpoint in May 2004 pleaded guilty Friday in Suffolk Circuit Court.

Marcellus L. Jones, 45, Thomas Nelson Cribbs IV, 23, and Dexter Carlos Webb, 22, each pleaded guilty to one count of armed robbery, two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony and one merged count of abduction.

Jones also entered a guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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Each man was initially charged with one count of armed robbery, five counts of abduction and six counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

The three men were arrested in June, thanks to DNA found on two cheeseburgers that the men had consumed before the holdup, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Susan H. Walton.

Detectives recovered the food scraps and an empty cup from the trash can and sent them to the state crime lab for DNA analysis, Walden said.

The three had gone into the fast food eatery shortly before closing and ordered food, said Walden. They finished eating, dropped their leftovers into a newly cleaned trashcan and ordered the manager and an employee to empty the cash drawers for them, Walden said.

They locked five employees and the manager into the cooler before fleeing the restaurant with between $2,000 and $3,000, Walden said.

Police were called out to the McDonald’s after a customer noticed the drive-through window was open but that no employees were inside, she said.

Jones, Cribbs and Webb will remain in Western Tidewater Regional Jail until their sentencing on Dec. 8.