Five people were arrested Thursday night following a Jasper County manhunt in connection with a robbery.
The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office says they were asked for assistance around 6:50 p.m. with a robbery that happened at the Williamsburg Mall. Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office deputies were following the suspect vehicle on I-80 westbound.
Newton police and Jasper County sheriff’s deputies joined the chase but lost sight of the vehicle at the Kellogg interchange.
Law enforcement officers observed the suspect vehicle a short time later on the side of I-80 and noticed two women standing outside of the vehicle. As officers approached the women fled on foot across both eastbound lanes of I-80, but were then taken into custody.
Officials say the women, along with at least two male suspects, had been trying to dispose of items taken in the robbery at the Williamsburg Mall in the north ditch. Several items of name-brand clothing were found during the investigation.
A tracking dog was brought in to search the area between Iowa Speedway Drive and E19th St. S. Multiple counterfeit $100 bills were located during the search. Around 8:38 p.m., three suspects were located by the K-9 hiding in a ditch in the 2700 block of S 13th Ave. E. They surrendered to law enforcement and were taken into custody without incident.
Arrested in the manhunt were: 18-year-old Johnisha Wyatt, 21-year-old Mercedes Floyd, 21-year-old Stephon Thompson, 21-year-old Jamell Gowdy, and 23-year-old Valentono Smith. Burglary and theft charges are pending against all five and Smith also had an arrest warrant out for his arrest on burglary charges in Missouri.
The suspects are also being investigated for a similar robbery at the Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville earlier Thursday.