04/24/07 — Pikeville robbery suspect nabbed

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Pikeville robbery suspect nabbed

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on April 24, 2007 1:51 PM

Pikeville police arrested a Goldsboro teen who allegedly robbed Howell Brothers grocery store at gunpoint last week.

Kenneth Ray Spruill Jr., 17, of West Lockhaven Drive, was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the incident, Pikeville police Chief Ken Barrett said. Spruill is being held in Wayne County Jail on a $45,000 bond, Barrett added.

The joint investigation that included Pikeville police, Fremont police and the Wayne County Sheriff's Office began after Spruill allegedly entered Howell Brothers on West Main Street at about 8:30 p.m. on April 18.

Owner Charlie Howell, 55, told police that the suspect pulled out a handgun, held it to his head and demanded money. The suspect then took an undisclosed amount of money from the cash register and left the building. Howell was not injured during the robbery.

A Fremont police officer and a sheriff's deputy each used one of their K-9 officers to search for the suspect.

The dogs tracked the suspect's scent along the railroad tracks leading to Fremont. During the manhunt, a portion of the money was recovered when the suspect dropped some of it while trying to elude authorities.

Barrett said Spruill once used a Fremont address before his current Goldsboro address.

Spruill was interviewed by police on Friday. He later confessed to the crime on Monday, and police immediately took him into custody.

Barrett said the charges against Spruill would not have been possible without the efforts of local law enforcement agencies and Crime Stoppers.

Additional charges could be filed and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information should call Goldsboro-Wayne Crime Stoppers at 735-2255 or the Pikeville Police Department at 242-5330.