LUMBERTON — Three Robeson County men are being held in jail after they wrecked their van, which was loaded with guns stolen from a Lumberton pawn shop, following a chase that spanned 34 miles and reached speeds of 95 mph, according to the Lumberton Police Department.
The chase began after Lumberton police, answering an alarm at Bryant’s Gun and Pawn on Fayetteville Road on Thursday morning, arrived and saw the 2000 Chevy Venture leaving the parking lot.
Gatlin Ray Hardin, 18, of 612 Old Baker Road in Maxton, was charged by Lumberton police Detective Lee Hinson with attempted breaking and entering, breaking and entering, felony larceny and two counts of conspiracy to commit breaking and entering, according to a statement by Lumberton police Capt. Terry Parker. He is being held in the Robeson County jail under a $15,000 bond.
John William Lewis, 20, also of 612 Old Baker Road, and Brandon Lamear Carter, 31, of 34 Sandra Lane, Pembroke, are being held at the Scotland County jail, where they have been charged with an unrelated break-in at Mid South Gun Shop in Wagram. According to the statement, a hold has been placed on both men by Robeson County authorities and each will face charges of breaking and entering, felony larceny after breaking and entering and conspiracy to commit breaking and entering for the burglary at Bryant’s Gun and Pawn.
Carter first shot out the windows of Lumberton Ford to “create a diversion” before he, Hardin and Lewis attempted an unsuccessful break-in at Pawn Plus on West Fifth Street, according to a statement.
According to the statement, the three then traveled in the van to Bryant’s Gun and Pawn, at 3551 Fayetteville Road, where they took several guns. When Lumberton police Officer Hubert Covington responded and saw the men leaving the shop’s parking lot, he chased them until the Highway Patrol took over the lead.
Carter will face charges of vandalism, discharging a firearm in the city limits, attempted breaking and entering, and conspiracy to commit breaking and entering at Pawn Plus. He also faces an unrelated charge of breaking and entering, and larceny of a firearm.
Lewis will face charges of attempted breaking and entering and conspiracy to commit breaking and entering at Pawn Plus.
The driver of the vehicle, Hardin, faces charges of careless driving, failure to stop for blue lights and siren, driving without a license and speeding, according to a report by Trooper D.B. Strickland.
The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, Scotland County Sheriff’s Office, The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol assisted in the investigation.