04/14/06 — Investigators looking for clues in robberies

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Investigators looking for clues in robberies

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on April 14, 2006 1:47 PM

Local law enforcement officers are continuing their investigation into armed robberies of the Fremont liquor store and two convenience stores in northern Wayne County -- but for now, they are finding few leads in the cases.

"We're still working on them," said Sheriff's Capt. George Raecher, who supervises the investigations division.

Raecher did not want to disclose what methods were being used to catch the suspects, but he noted there are no new leads and no one is talking about the four holdups.

"The cases aren't closed, that's for sure," he said.

Raecher speculated that the suspects might be from the northern end of the county.

Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Mike Reid was assigned to investigate the robberies. He is working with the Wilson County Sheriff's Office and the Fremont, Pikeville and Stantonsburg police departments.

The same suspects also might have been involved in a recent convenience store robbery in Black Creek and a fast-food restaurant holdup in Wilson.

The string of Wayne County robberies started March 20, when three men tried to rob Taylor's C-Mart in Eureka. When the owner went outside, the suspects entered and struggled with two customers, and a shot was fired, reports said. The robbers, described as being black, fled without getting any money.

Three robbers held up the Stoney Creek Food Mart at N.C. 111 and Stoney Creek Church Road on March 23 and got away with about $3,000.

Three robbers on March 25 held up the state liquor store at U.S. 117 and N.C. 222 in Fremont and fled "with a substantial amount of money," detectives said.

A dark vehicle was seen near the stores, Raecher said.

Two black men robbed the same liquor store March 28 and escaped with about $500. The same clerk was robbed both times.

The robbers are believed to be in their 20s, and they have worn dark clothing that has covered parts of their faces.

A knife-wielding teenager was arrested March 29 after a robbery of the Saulston Community Store at 4673 Wayne Memorial Drive. Michael King, 17, of Tinderwood Drive was apprehended a little more than an hour later. He was charged with armed robbery and jailed in lieu of a $50,000 secured bond.

Raecher said he doesn't think King was involved in the other holdups.

Anyone with information on the armed robberies is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 731-1481 or Goldsboro-Wayne County Crime Stoppers at 735-2255. Callers may be anonymous and might be eligible for a cash reward, if their information leads to an arrest.