LUMBERTON — Lawmen have arrested and charged two people with the armed robberies of the Valero store and Billy Cox Grocery and Market that occurred on Wednesday morning
According to Lumberton Police Department Capt. Terry Parker, James Cory Deese, 24, of Back Swamp Road in Lumberton, and James Jamil McNeill, 25, of Pretty Lane in Lumberton, are each charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, second-degree kidnapping and possession of firearm by felon in the Valero store robbery.
Each was placed in the Robeson County jail under a $175,000 bond.
McNeill was arrested at Motel 6 off Interstate 95, and Deese “nearby,” according to Sheriff Kenneth Sealey, whose department worked the Billy Cox grocery case. He said the arrests were made about 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
The Valero store, which is located at 2301 Lackey St. in Lumberton, was robbed at 11:36 a.m. on Wednesday. No one was hurt in the robbery.
Deese was the person who actually entered the store wearing a mask and robbed it of an undisclosed amount of cash, Parker said.
The robbery occurred about two hours after Billy Cox Grocery and Market at 9108 N.C. 41 North was robbed at gunpoint.
Sealey said each man is charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by felon, second-degree kidnapping and felony conspiracy in that robbery. Deese’s bond on that robbery was set at $285,000 and McNeill’s at $405,000.
In that robbery, a man who was dressed in black and wearing a mask entered the store and began firing shots into the ceiling. He left with an undisclosed amount of money.
The Sheriff’s Office published photos taken from a surveillance camera that showed the gunman and his accomplice and what appeared to the vehicle they were traveling in. In that instance, it appears that McNeill was the one who entered the store and Deese stayed outside.
Sealey and Parker each thanked the public for its help in solving the case.
The Billy Cox store robbery forced the temporary lockdown of Littlefield Middle and East Robeson Primary schools, which are both nearby. During a lockdown classes continue as normal, but no one is allowed to enter of exit the school building.
Editor Donnie Douglas can be reached at 910-416-5649 or [email protected]