Local News

Police: Links to 1991 crime spree helped nab 'box-cutter bandit'

Posted April 29, 2011 11:19 a.m. EDT
Updated April 29, 2011 12:15 p.m. EDT

— A man arrested Thursday in connection with a string of robberies in Fayetteville this week served more than 17 years in prison for a similar crime spree in 1991, police said Friday.

Julius Williams III, 50, of Fayetteville, was charged with three counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count each of common law robbery and second-degree kidnapping. He is being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $105,000 bond.

A man armed with a box cutter or knife robbed eight businesses in Fayetteville – four gas stations, two shoe stores, a pharmacy and a restaurant – between Monday and Wednesday.

A Fayetteville police detective recalled a similar spree in 1991, and research led investigators to Williams, police said.

He was convicted of a dozen robberies that occurred between May and December 1991 and was in prison until last July, police said.

Williams' mother filed a missing person report on him on Wednesday, police said, noting he hadn't been seen since leaving her home in her white SUV on Monday.

The SUV, which matched the description of the vehicle the robber used to flee the crime scenes, was found Thursday at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, police said. Williams was later arrested in the hospital.

Fingerprints from one of the robberies matched Williams', and the clothing he was wearing at the hospital was similar to that seen in security video from three of the robberies, police said.