Three arrested following armed robbery

By: W. Curt Vincent -

DUBLIN — Three Elizabethtown men were arrested Monday in connection with an armed robbery of the Dollar General in Dublin.

According to Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker, a call came in at approximately 8:45 p.m. reporting the robbery. The call was made by a customer who was at the back of the store and saw two men enter the store with masks on and force a clerk to the office.

“There were two clerks and three customers in the store at the time of the robbery,” McVicker said. “One of the robbers was armed with a semi-automatic handgun. When the store manager told the robbers the safe was on a time lock they took money from the cash registers and fled.”

A Sheriff’s Office deputy who was very close to the store when the call came in was able to arrive on the scene in less than a minute. As the deputy pulled up to the store a customer pointed out where the suspects fled on foot and the deputy saw a vehicle pull off. The deputy initiated a pursuit of the suspect vehicle and the chase went about four miles until the suspects tried to turn into a mobile home park at the intersection of Owen Hill Drive and Robin Drive.

“Officers were able to use their patrol cars to block the suspects in, at which time the suspects fled on foot,” McVicker said. “The deputies arrested two individuals almost immediately and then set up a perimeter. The third suspect was apprehended about an hour later.”

The weapon used in the robbery, a .45 caliber handgun, and all the money stolen were recovered.

Arrested were:

— Naquan Alphonso Matthews, 20, who was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony flee to elude arrest, driving while lcense revoked, felony possession of stolen goods, injury to personal property and injury to real property. His bond was set at $511,000.

— Everette Nyquan Ward, 25, who was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony possession of stolen goods, and resisting arrest. His bond was set at $501,000.

— Carlton Terrell Smith Jr., 23, who was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony possession of stolen goods, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and felony fossession of weapon with altered serial number. Smith’s bond was set at $1,010,000.

“This arrest was the result of excellent work on the part of my deputies and the timing of the event,” said McVicker. “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.”

W. Curt Vincent