Details emerge on 5th suspect in PNC bank robbery

By: Annick Joseph - Staff writer

RALEIGH — The alleged involvement of a fifth person in the January PNC bank robbery is detailed in documents obtained by The Robesonian.

Demetrius Terel Smith, of 6536 Old Lumberton Road in Whiteville, entered into a plea agreement April 11 at the U.S. District Court in Elizabeth City, documents show.

Smith pleaded guilty to making a false statement to federal agents, the plea agreement showed. The documents show he purchased the gray Saturn used in the bank robbery, but denied doing so.

Smith was fined $250,000 and is facing a maximum term of five years in prison with three years supervised release. He will be sentenced later.

During an arraignment in Raleigh on Wednesday, Rashad Donavan Young, 26, of 421 W. Lewis St. in Whiteville, and Jeramie Ross Vaughn, 29, of Bitmore Road, pleaded guilty to the armed robbery of the PNC Bank on Jan. 23.

Demetris “Boo Boo” Sean Robinson, 26, of Golf Course Road in Whiteville, and Daquan Pridgen, 26, of Memory Twin Circle in Whiteville, pleaded not guilty and were given a month each to prepare their case.

A high-speed chase during which shots were fired followed the robbery, and after the four robbers ditched the vehicle, a manhunt began that lasted several days and involved multiple law enforcement agencies from the local, state and federal levels.

The investigation led to Smith after lawmen searched the Saturn used in the bank robbery and recovered, among other items, a North Carolina license plate. The tag was determined to be registered to a 2005 GMC Sierra, documents show.

That led them to Smith’s home, where they met Smith.

He was forthcoming with information that led to the identification of Young, Vaughn and Robinson, but denied his connection to the Saturn.

The investigation showed the Saturn was purchased from Loco Prices, located on West Second Street in Lumberton, on June 20, 2017.

An invoice dated the same day showed a photocopy of Smith’s driver’s license, which was used in the purchase of the car. He was arrested and charged with providing false information to federal agents.

Shortly after the crime, The Robesonian reported Smith was in jail under a federal warrant somewhere in the Eastern District of North Carolina, but was asked not to publish his name to prevent harming the investigation. That was the first time his name was attached to the bank robbery.

Public records show Smith has a criminal record from 2009 for burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, and felony larceny. He was arrested in 2012 and charged with stealing a horse trailer, saddle, bridle, and boots, with a combined estimated value of $6,735.

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Annick Joseph

Staff writer

Reach Annick Joseph by calling 910-416-5165 or via email at [email protected] or Facebook Annick MultiMedia Journalist.

Reach Annick Joseph by calling 910-416-5165 or via email at [email protected] or Facebook Annick MultiMedia Journalist.