ELIZABETHTOWN — Two Bladen County men were arrested Saturday and charged with the armed robbery of the Butters Quick Shop in the Butters community southwest of Bladenboro.
According to Sheriff Jim McVicker, 911 dispatchers received a call at 7:41 p.m. on Saturday from the female clerk on duty who reported she had just been robbed by a male armed with a handgun. The clerk was able to give a detailed description of the robber and the car he was seen leaving the scene of the crime in.
“Deputies arrived at the store within three minutes of the call and one of the deputies had earlier run a license tag on a vehicle fitting the description given by the clerk,” McVicker said. “At the time the deputy ran the license he had seen the vehicle loitering in the area.”
A description of the vehicle, tag number, and the gunman was given out to area law enforcement. Less than an hour after the reported robbery, an investigator with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, who was working on the case, spotted the vehicle at the Handee Hugo’s convenience store in Bladenboro at the gas pumps.
“The investigator called for assistance and took the occupants of the vehicle in custody in the parking lot,” McVicker said. “There were four occupants in the vehicle at the time of the take-down and the investigation revealed only two of the occupants had been involved in the earlier robbery.”
McVicker said cash from the robbery and a stolen handgun were recovered from the vehicle.
— Robert Anthony Davis, 22, of Bladenboro. He was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and placed in Bladen County Jail under a $100,000 secured bond.
— Gerrod Basil Ellison, 24, of Riegelwood. He was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a stolen firearm. Ellison also received a $100,000 secured bond.
Ellison made bond and had a first appearance in District Court on Monday. Davis also had a first appearance Monday but remains in custody.
McVicker praised the clerk at the store and his deputies, and gave them credit for the quick arrest.
“The clerk at the store kept her composure and was able to give us a good description of the robber and his vehicle,” he said. “This information combined with the earlier observation by a deputy on duty were instrumental in bringing this case to a quick conclusion.
“Even though the robbers had gone to a residence and changed clothes, we were still able to identify them by their physical descriptions and the other identifying features on their car,” McVicker added.
McVicker said the two men arrested were also suspects in other armed robberies that have occurred in recent weeks in the county.
“We are continuing our investigation and hope to be able to link them to these other robberies as well,” he said.
— W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.