Three Elizabethtown men were arrested Monday night and charged in an armed robbery of the Dollar General store in Dublin, according to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.
The men were apprehended after a brief vehicle chase that ended in a mobile home park at the intersection of Owen Hill Drive and Robin Drive less than five miles from the store, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Arrested were Naquan Alphonso Matthews, 20, of Blue Moon Drive; Everette Nyquan Ward, 25, of South Cypress Street; and Carlton Terrell Smith Jr., 23, of Della Street.
Matthews was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony flee to elude arrest, driving while license revoked, felony possession of stolen goods, misdemeanor injury to personal property and misdemeanor injury to real property. His bond was set at $511,000.
Ward was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony possession of stolen goods and resisting arrest. His bond was set at $501,000.
Smith was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony possession of stolen goods, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, felony possession of weapon with altered serial number. His bond was set at $1.01 million.
According to Bladen County Sheriff James McVicker, a customer called from the back of the store about 8:45 p.m. that two men had entered the store with masks on and had forced a clerk to the office. One of the men had a semi-automatic handgun. When the clerk told the men that the safe was on a time lock, the men took money from cash registers and fled, McVicker said.
A Bladen County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived on scene in less than a minute and a customer pointed out where the suspects fled out of the store, McVicker said. The deputy noticed a vehicle pulling off and gave chase.
The chase ended when the suspects’ vehicle turned into a mobile home park at the intersection of Owen Hill Drive and Robin Drive, McVicker said. The officers were able to use their patrol cars to block the suspects’ vehicle. The three men then fled on foot.
McVicker said two of the men were captured quickly. The third man was caught about an hour later.
McVicker said the .45 caliber handgun believed used during the robbery and all of the money taken from the Dollar General cash registers were recovered.
“This arrest was the result of excellent work on the part of my deputies and the timing of the event,” McVicker said. “The call to 911 came in while the robbery was still in progress, which is not usually the case. We were also fortunate there was a deputy less than a minute away when he received the call. The customer calling 911 was crucial to our being able to be there in time to intervene and make an arrest. I would commend the caller and the deputies involved.”
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