BLADENBORO — An assault and robbery at a Bladenboro grocery store resulted in a nearby school to be put on lockdown and a car chase that went into Robeson County on Friday.
According to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, the incident began at about 11 a.m. at the Fresh Foods IGA grocery store in Bladenboro, where a store clerk was assaulted and a cash box was stolen before the suspect fled.
“The suspect was seen getting into a small gray car and fleeing the scene,” said Sheriff Jim McVicker. “Bladen County 911 was contacted and the Bladenboro Police Department was notified, as well as surrounding law enforcement agencies, of the incident.”
According to the report, Bladenboro Police Chief Chris Hunt saw the small grey car described in the alert on N.C. 211 and attempted to stop it, but Hunt was led on a chase that took him into Robeson County before the vehicle stopped near Antioch Grocery off Old Whiteville Road.At that point, a passenger in the vehicle fled on foot while Hunt managed to arrest the driver.
“Additional law enforcement resources arrived and a manhunt was conducted,” McVicker said.”K9s and a helicopter were called in to assist with the search. At least one school in the area was placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure.”
Just after 4:30 p.m., the second individual was apprehended without incident about one-half-mile from where he left the vehicle.
The two suspects are Jordan Swett, 20 of Rowland, and Leroy Hardin, 19 of Lumberton. Both are in the Bladen County Detention Center with secure bonds of $502,000 and $500,000 respectively.
“Chief Hunt did an excellent job of pursing and apprehending the suspects in this case,” McVicker said. “Again the apprehension of the suspects in this case shows that close working relationships between law enforcement agencies can be beneficial for the safety of the citizens of our community and beyond.”
The cash box and all but $20 dollars have been recovered.