Suspects involved in armored vehicle armed robberies plead guilty

South (left) and Watts, courtesy of Salisbury PD

BALTIMORE, Md. – Two of the men accused of stealing more than $1 million from an armored truck in January of 2018 have pled guilty to robbery charges.

According to the guilty plea, on January 22, 2018, 49-year-old Orneth South, along with 42-year-old Michael Watts and 38-year-old Ryan Smith approached the driver of the armored vehicle as he was removing cash cassettes from an ATM machine at a credit union located on Mt. Hermon Road in Salisbury. Watts reportedly put a gun to the diver’s head and disarmed him of his service weapon before grabbing him by the hair and ordering him to open the vehicle’s door. Once the driver opened the door, South and Smith then took several bags of money and ATM cassettes filled with cash from within the vehicle. Watts then zip tied the drivers hands together and forced him into the vehicle before the three fled with a total of $1,324,288.

On April 20, 2018, South was arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina, on an arrest warrant issued as a result of the robbery.

Watts was arrested on May 18, 2018, in Queens, New York. At the time of his arrest, police say Watts was wearing roughly $70,000 worth of jewelry, and later admitted to using his portion of the stolen money to purchase a Mercedes S430 automobile, clothes, two tombstones, and to pay off bills and rent.

As part of their plea agreements, the defendants will be required to pay restitution in the full amount of the loss, which officials say is at least $1,324,288. Both Watts and South are scheduled for sentencing in May.

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Categories: Local News, Maryland