EPD: Hostage suspect was wanted for armed robbery, along w/partn - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

EPD: Hostage suspect was wanted for armed robbery, along w/partner in crime

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Left - Coates, Right - Woods; Source: Vanderburgh Co Jail Left - Coates, Right - Woods; Source: Vanderburgh Co Jail
apartment where hostage situation on Sunday took place apartment where hostage situation on Sunday took place

Evansville Police Sergeant Jim Magary says when police got a call from Jacobsville Apartments just before noon on Sunday, it was purely coincidence that the man involved was 26-year-old Justin Deon Coates, someone they had been looking for.

"He had some felony warrants on him for criminal confinement, robbery with a firearm, and we got information that he had threatened a person in the same apartment complex."

Police say Coates held three children hostage at a resident's apartment. Negotiators and SWAT teams were called to the scene, and multiple units arrived to evacuate the area.

Coates surrendered three hours later, and all three children were unharmed. Coates is in the Vanderburgh County Jail facing multiple charges, including criminal confinement.

Police say on Saturday, just a day earlier, they had caught a former partner in crime with Coates. Early Saturday morning, the Kangaroo Express on Kentucky Avenue was robbed by three people. The clerk told police that three men in hoodies and bandanas robbed the clerk of cash and cigarettes with a semi-automatic gun.

Police say there are a total of five suspects but four of them are underage. Police say the one adult suspect is 24-year-old James Vincent Woods. He is in jail on two criminal confinement charges, two armed robbery charges and one charge of kidnapping.

Officers say now that they have both Coates and Woods in custody, they can look back at unsolved robbery cases and look for common themes to see if they can tie them to those crimes.

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