Alleged robber arrested

Published 4:27pm Sunday, April 6, 2014

WINDSOR – The Bertie County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in connection with the Monday robbery of a Powellsville market.

Eking Holley, 24, was taken into custody at a residence on Glover’s Crossroads sometime Thursday, according to Bertie Sheriff John Holley.

Eking Holley
Eking Holley

On Monday, a black male subject of medium build, approximately 6’1” to 6’ 2” tall wearing what appeared to be a mask over his portions of his face while also wearing a dark hoodie and camouflage pants, entered the Red Apple Market located at the intersection of US 13 and NC 42 shortly after 1 p.m. brandishing what witnesses described as a long-barreled handgun.

According to witnesses at the market at the time of the incident, the gunman demanded money. As the clerk on duty reached for a telephone, reportedly to call the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office, the gunman then fired a shot in the direction of, but not directly at, the clerk on duty at the market. After discharging the gun, which frightened the clerk, the masked gunman then snatched the entire cash register completely away from the counter, tearing out wires.

The gunman then ran on foot across NC 42 into an open field dropping cash and coins from the cash register in his path as he fled the scene. The gunman was last spotted disappearing behind an adjacent trailer park.  Witnesses do not know if he entered one of the residences or entered a vehicle.

After a call came to the Sheriff’s Office shortly around 1:15 p.m., deputies were immediately dispatched to the scene. The immediate area of the market was cordoned off with yellow law enforcement crime tape as deputies began their investigation by first interviewing the clerk.  The investigators were later able to locate a witness to the robbery shortly thereafter and took that witness’ statement.

After an investigation that took place for much of the past three days, the Sheriff’s office announced the arrest on Thursday afternoon.

King was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspire to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, discharging a weapon in an occupied property, possession of a firearm by a felon, assault with a deadly weapon, and going armed to the terror of people.

He is being held under $100,000 bond in the Bertie/Martin Regional Jail.

Sheriff Holley said members of the North Carolina Highway Patrol and the Ahoskie Police Department assisted in the investigation leading to the arrest in Monday’s robbery.

Monday’s heist marked the second time in less than 48 hours that the Powellsville Red Apple had been victimized.

Sunday morning when the clerk arrived to open the market for business, the front window of the store had been smashed in and it appeared someone had entered the store through the vandalized window seizing several items of merchandise but no cash. It was believed that the breaking-and-entering occurred sometime after the market closed just before 10 p.m. on Saturday.

The Sheriff’s Office responded to a call to the scene, but authorities would not reveal at the time what was taken during the break-in.

Later Sunday morning, investigator Harris Williams made an arrest of a suspect in connection with the break-in.

Arrested and taken to the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail was 18-year-old Tony Watford of 143 Sally Freeman Road in Powellsville.

Watford was charged with breaking and entering, larceny, and injury to real property.

Authorities would not say much about the arrest other than that Watford was taken into custody at his residence.  He was placed in the Bertie/Martin Regional Jail under a $5,000 secured bond.

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