According to a release from the Lufkin Police Department, Sunday evening at 6:50, police were called to Bigs at 1203 S. Chestnut (Two-Point) for a robbery that had just occurred.

The store clerk said that a regular (though she did not know his name) came into the store and asked to buy beer that was not in the display cooler. She had to go to the back of the store to get the beer. When she returned to the register area, she said, the man followed her around the counter.

She said that is when he pulled out a sharp object aggressively and told her “just cooperate.” He gestured for her to put the beer in a bag and told her to open the registers. She did, and placed the money in the bag along with three packs of cigarettes as he demanded.

She said she then told him she had kids and didn’t want to be hurt, but he told her they were no longer talking. She said he told her to go into the store’s freezer/cooler area and count to 100 before coming out. He left on foot toward East Denman Avenue.

Officers arrived and reviewed surveillance video, which showed the incident just as the store clerk described. They put out an image of the suspect from the surveillance video so other officers could be on the lookout for him.

Officer Roger Ordaz recognized the man as Clifton Tatum, 61, of Lufkin. Tatum is a registered sex offender and Ordaz is his accountability officer, meaning he touches base with him every month to ensure he is compliant.

Officers then went to a home where Tatum is known to stay. While searching the area, they found a vacant house at 1011 Mitchell Avenue with an unsecured back door.

Officers found Tatum inside the house less than an hour later. He was still wearing the same clothes and had several beers on the floor around him. Officers also found a pair of kitchen scissors that he apparently used to threaten the store clerk. They found an undisclosed amount of cash in his shorts pocket that matched what was taken from the register.

Tatum was arrested for aggravated robbery and he remains in the Angelina County Jail.