Local News

Chatham County Deputies Apprehend One Suspect, Searching For Two More

Posted March 27, 2005 6:36 a.m. EST

— The Chatham County Sheriff's Office apprehended one suspect Sunday in a pair of armed robberies, but the search continues for two more suspects, who are described as having dreadlocks and wearing dark clothing.

Authorities believe at least one of the suspects may be heading south in a stolen black Nissan truck with the North Carolina license plate number PSL-1073.

"They should be considered armed and dangerous. There are weapons inside the car and we have reason to believe they're still armed," Major Gary Blankenship of the Chatham County Sheriff's Office said.

The men are suspects in two armed robberies of convenience stores that happened Wednesday night in Marlboro County, S.C.

The first store robbed was the Corner Cupboard in Bennettsville, S.C.

Fifteen minutes later, police believe the same group robbed a Cash & Carry store in Clio, S.C. Police said the suspects carjacked a red van from a woman getting gas at the Cash & Carry location.

Blankenship said one of his deputies was on Highway 421, about two miles north of Siler City, when the deputy saw a van going about 100 miles per hour heading south on 421 early Sunday morning.

The deputy chased the vehicle until it crashed into a utility pole. After the crash, three men inside took off and ran into the woods, prompting the Chatham County Sheriff's Office to set up a search perimeter.

One of the suspects was captured Sunday afternoon in a wooded area about two miles south of Bonlee.

Blankenship said this suspect admitted he was in the van that crashed Sunday morning but did not admit to the carjacking or robberies in South Carolina.

The search continues for the other suspects.

"As long as we think they're in the area we'll continue [the search], but we re-evaluate that every couple of hours," Blankenship said.