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  • Writer's pictureJefferson Weaver

Robeson Gunmen Sought

A group of thieves hit five stores in Robeson County early Monday morning, then fended off deputies in a running gun battle on I-74.

Deputies withdrew from the chase after the suspects began weaving in and out of traffic while firing at deputies and other vehicles, according to the Robeson Sheriff’s Office. Two patrol cars were struck, but no one was injured.

Deputies began getting break-in alarm calls at 1:39 a.m., starting at a store in the Alamac community. Another store just over a mile away was hit minutes later. At 2:09 a.m., the third call came in from Orrum, followed by another at 3:01 a.m. and the last at 3:07 a.m.

Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said in a press release that deputies spotted the suspect vehicle at 3:20 a.m. at Old Stage Road and N.C. 41, and attempted a traffic stop. Someone in the vehicle opened fire, striking both deputies’ cars during pursuit through a residential area. The suspects then turned on I-74 and began driving “recklessly” through cars on the Interstate. The gunmen continued shooting, the press release said, so deputies broke off the chase.

The vehicle is a four-door silver or light-colored Nissan Pathfinder manufactured between 2015 and 2019. The vehicle is displaying 30-day tags.

“These suspects are considered armed and dangerous and will be treated as such until apprehended” says Sheriff Burnis Wilkins. “It was quite obvious their crime spree was thought out and they had no concern for the motoring public, residents sleeping in their homes or deputies as they fired multiple rounds at deputies throughout the pursuit. In the interest of safety for all, a decision was made to discontinue the pursuit”.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Fairmont Police Department are assisting with the investigation.

Anyone with information about the cases are asked to call the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office at 910.671.3170 or 910.671.3100.

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