Suspects In Harnett County Jewelry Store Robbery Appear In Court
Posted June 9, 2005 10:29 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Four suspects arrested in connection with a Harnett County jewelry store robbery Wednesday morning made their first appearance in court Thursday.
A judge appointed all four suspects lawyers and kept their bail at $1 million each.
Police arrested Vincent Sumpter, Samira Alston, Terell Johnson and Michael McKenzie after they allegedly robbed a Friedman's Jewelers store Wednesday morning.
Authorities believe Sumpter, of Raleigh, is a suspect they have been searching for in two robberies in Wake County -- Perry Brothers Jewelers on New Bern Avenue and Ora Designers Fine Jewelers on Falls of the Neuse Road.
Sumpter was wanted for two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and seven counts of kidnapping in the two robberies, authorities said.
Both hold-ups happened in April in broad daylight. Each time employees were restrained with novelty handcuffs.
On Wednesday, authorities said a U.S. Marshal was staking out a vehicle in the parking lot of Friedman's Jewelers in Dunn, N.C. when he saw three men enter the front door of the store and start waving firearms in the air while robbing the jewelry store, the U.S. Marshals Service said.
The three men then ran from the store and fled in a gold Lincoln Navigator, driven by a fourth person, according to authorities.
When authorities tried to stop the vehicle, a pursuit ensued for nearly four miles before the Navigator crashed into a fence.
Police immediately took two suspects into custody and after a short pursuit, the other two were taken into custody.
The U.S. Marshal's Service said authorities recovered over $1 million in stolen goods from the robbery.
Authorities have not said whether Alston, Johnson or McKenzie are suspects in the Wake County robberies.
According to authorities, Sumpter and Alston's 3-year-old child was with them as well.
Authorities said additional charges would be filed for the Friedman's robbery. Investigators will also decide whether to seek charges against the suspects in federal or state court.
The suspects' next court appearance is scheduled for June 28.