LUMBERTON — The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office has released images of the suspects in one of two armed robberies that happened Wednesday morning, one of which forced the lockdown of two nearby schools.
No one was injured in either robbery.
Video surveillance footage from Billy Cox Grocery and Market shows a man dressed in black and ripped blue jeans pointing a handgun at the store clerk behind the counter. The video also shows a suspected accomplice on a phone outside the store.
Law enforcement officials are asking for the public’s assistance identifying the two people and a vehicle suspected to have been used in the crime also captured by the video surveillance. The robber escaped with an undisclosed amount of money.
The first robbery occurred at Billy Cox Grocery and Market, during which a man fired shots into the ceiling of the store and pointed a semi-automatic handgun at a female clerk while demanding money from the register, said Kenneth Sealey, Robeson County sheriff. The gunman was wearing a black Nike hoodie, black gloves and a black and white bandanna that covered his face.
The robber is believed to have been picked up by a male accomplice driving a 2004 gold Honda Accord with a sunroof, Sealey said. The license plate number associated with the Honda was unknown as of Wednesday afternoon.
East Robeson Primary, which is at 4840 Seventh Street Road, and Littlefield Middle, which is at 9674 N.C. 41 North, were placed on lockdown from about 9:26 a.m. to shortly after noon following the robbery. During a lockdown, classes continue as normal but no one is allowed to enter or exit the school building.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office at 910-671-3100, Sealey said.
The second robbery occurred about two hours later. Lawmen are trying to determine if the same people were involved.
According to Lumberton police Capt. Terry Parker, a man armed with a weapon entered the Valero store at 2301 Lackey St. at 11:36 a.m. and escaped with an undisclosed amount of money. The man was wearing what appeared to be a long sleeve jacket or coat, a mask covering his face, and gloves.
Parker was aware of the earlier robbery, and said city police were “exploring” the possibility that they were related.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Yvette Pitts, of the Lumberton Police Department, at 910-671-3845.