03/31/06 — Fremont store will close for two weeks

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Fremont store will close for two weeks

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on March 31, 2006 1:49 PM

The Wayne County Alcoholic Beverage Commission Board has decided to close the doors of the Fremont ABC store until mid-April after the store was robbed twice within a week.

The county's ABC Board of Director M. Bryant Daly said the board decided Wednesday afternoon to temporarily shut down the store for about two weeks. There is also some discussion of the future of the store in its current location.

"The board met and we decided for the safety of the employees and for Fremont's security that we would close the doors until April 15," Daly said.

Wayne County ABC Board Business Manager Mike Myrick said the store would reopen April 18.

Last Saturday, three robbers wearing dark clothing stole an undisclosed amount of money from the Fremont ABC store. Although detectives working the case could not release the exact amount, the detectives said the suspects stole "a substantial sum of money."

Then, $500 was stolen by two robbers at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday from the same store clerk. The two suspects fled on foot and were tracked by a Wayne County Sheriff's Office search dog and handler until the scent was lost.

Wayne County Sheriff's Capt. George Raecher said the liquor store robberies could be connected to other robberies at convenience stores in Eureka, Stoney Creek and Black Creek.

Anyone with information was asked to call the Fremont Police Department at 242-5152, the Wayne County Sheriff's Office at 731-1481 or Goldsboro-Wayne County Crime Stoppers at 735-2255. Callers may remain anonymous and might be eligible for a cash reward, if their information leads to an arrest.

Myrick said he and the board decided it would be in the best interest of the store's employees to close the doors and to let local law enforcement officers find the suspects. He said the Fremont city manager and the acting police chief agreed.

Prior to the string of armed robberies, Myrick said the board considered a number of options to improve revenue at the Fremont store including changing store hours and/or relocating the store.

"We don't make that much money out there. I think our total profit from 2005 was something like $1,700. We provide a service for that area, and we don't mind that, but it doesn't make that much money," Myrick said.

With the new U.S. 117 bypass near Fremont, Myrick said the board had considered relocating the store to a strip center on N.C. 222 or another location to increase revenue.