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Getaway driver in Dollar General armed robbery sentenced

NAQUAN MATTHEWS.jpgThe man who was the driver of a vehicle used to leave the scene following an armed robbery at Dollar General in Dublin pled guilty Wednesday in Bladen County Superior Court under an agreement with the state.

Naquan Alphonso Matthews, 20, of Elizabthtown, pled guilty to common law robbery and fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to 13 to 25 months in custody.

Everette Nyquan Ward, 26, and Carlton Terrell Smith Jr., 23, also are charged in the robbery. Their cases are still pending, according to court statements.

The robbery took place Aug. 24, 2015 about 8:45 p.m. when two men entered the store and forced the manager to unlock the safe. The men left with about $1,300 and got into the vehicle driven by Matthews, according to a court summary.

A Bladen County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was on his way home heard the call and was nearby, according to court statements. A customer pointed out to the deputy where the suspects fled. The deputy noticed a vehicle pulling off and gave chase. The chase went along N.C. 87 toward Tar Heel at speeds up to 70 mph. Matthews then turned onto Grimes Road, then Owen Hill Road, where speeds reached 80 mph.

The chase ended when the suspects’ vehicle turned into a mobile home park at the intersection of Owen Hill Drive and Robin Drive, according to court statements. The officers were able to use their patrol cars to block the suspects’ vehicle. The three men then fled on foot, but all were captured within an hour.

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