10/09/06 — Suspect steals tickets, sets fire to area store

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Suspect steals tickets, sets fire to area store

By Lee Williams
Published in News on October 9, 2006 1:52 PM

A Stantonsburg man was collared just seven minutes after he allegedly stole nearly $10,000 in lottery tickets and other goods from Fat Daddy's Fastway on U.S. 13 North this morning and then set the building ablaze.

Michael Paul Grady, 24, of Watery Branch Church Road, was charged with felony breaking and entering, larceny and arson in connection with the raid and the subsequent fire that was set at the store. Grady is being held at the Wayne County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

Wayne County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to an alarm call at the local convenience store at 2:38 this morning on U.S. 13 and Artis Road, Wayne County Sheriff's Department spokesman Capt. George Raecher said.

"Within just a few minutes of the alarm notification, the 911 Center received a call from a citizen that the store was on fire," Raecher said. "Patrol Deputy Cpl. Craig Edwins, who was driving to the scene on Artis Road, observed a white male running while pushing a shopping cart. Cpl. Edwins caught the male subject after a short foot chase."

Deputy Sgt. Kenneth Lupton and Deputy Ryan Sasser also responded to the store. They sifted through the shopping cart and found dozens of items from the store including $9,900 in lottery tickets, 22 cartons of cigarettes, $96.98 in coins, a silver necklace, a Phillies cigar, lighters, candy and other items, all valued at $10,798.02.

Meanwhile, the fire at Fat Daddy's raged on, Raecher said. Firefighters from Saulston, East Wayne and New Hope volunteer fire departments arrived to extinguish the blaze.

"The property recovered from the suspect was valued at approximately $11,000," Raecher said. "Fire damages are estimated at $150,000, which includes structural damages and contents of the business."

Detectives Sgts. Robert Chunn, Shawn Harris and Robert Golimowski are investigating the case. Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders "praised the aggressiveness and actions" of his deputies who apprehended the alleged thief within minutes of getting the call.