Helena detective apprehends national honor

A national agency recently honored a Helena law enforcement official with one of its top yearly awards after the officer worked to bring an end to a string of retail robberies.

The National Retail Federation presented Helena Police Department Detective Chris Rollan with its Law Enforcement Partnership Retail Partnership Award during the federation’s 2010 Loss Prevention Conference and Expo.

The federation chose Rollan for the award after the detective worked to arrest Adrian Glenn, who is charged with robbing the Helena Winn-Dixie in November 2009.

Authorities also believe Glenn was involved in as many as 16 armed robberies of Winn-Dixie stores throughout the Birmingham metropolitan area in 2009.

During the Helena robbery, the suspect entered the store, pulled a revolver on a store cashier and followed the employee to the store’s safe, Rollan said after Glenn was taken into custody in December 2009.

When Glenn was arrested, he was employed at a CVS distribution center, but had previously worked at a Winn-Dixie. Glenn’s employment at Winn-Dixie gave the suspect an intimate knowledge of the store’s layout, Rollan said.

“I appreciate the award, but I felt like I didn’t do anything beyond what I felt I needed to do to make our city safe,” said Rollan, who was the first Alabama resident to win the award. “I just kind of took it personally because I live here in the city.

“It’s good that we are able to handle crimes of that magnitude in such a small community,” Rollan added. “Nobody from Alabama has ever won that award before, so it was a big deal. It felt good.”

Rollan worked with several other local law enforcement agencies to investigate the robberies before the Helena Police Department executed a search warrant on the suspect’s Birmingham residence.

“Investigating every possible connection, including tracking down the manufacturer of the white gloves used by the criminals, Detective Rollan eventually tied everything together, executed a search warrant on one suspect’s home and solved a heinous crime,” read a National Retail Federation press release.

“His investigative work not only resolved the robbery in his community, but resolved 15 other violent armed robberies in neighboring cities,” the release read.