M’boro Police foil armed robbery

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 13, 2006

MURFREESBORO – Some exceptional law enforcement work by the Murfreesboro Police Department resulted in the apprehension of two alleged would be robbers and a weapon of mass destruction.

The keen eye of 16-year law enforcement veteran Capt. Chris Sumner of the Murfreesboro P.D. was instrumental in police being able to prevent three suspects from attempting to rob a local convenience store on Monday night.

While on patrol, Sumner noticed three men loitering outside of the Red Apple on Main St.

The Police Captain noticed that the vehicle, which the men appeared to be passengers of, was parked suspiciously.

After approaching the men and questioning their reason for loitering around the store, Sumner’s curiosity was raised by what he described as nervous behavior by the men.

After questioning the trio, Sumner drove off and circled back to the area when he noticed the suspects had gotten into the vehicle in question and drove down Spring Ave. in an apparent effort to avoid further detection.

Sumner attempted to get behind the suspects’ vehicle but lost sight of them. He then called for assistance from the Murfreesboro P.D. and the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office.

Sumner eventually found one of the men walking down the street and after further investigation was informed by the suspect that the men had hid their car in a nearby driveway behind someone’s house.

A short time later, officer Chris Firkel of the Murfreesboro P.D. located a second suspect walking on Main Street.

Upon locating and conducting a search of the hidden vehicle, Sumner noticed that the car had been specially wired to allow a passenger to purposely turn off all of the lights in the car, including the brake lights.

A further search of the immediate vicinity produced a sawed shotgun that had allegedly been tossed by the suspects to avoid being discovered by the police.

A sawed off shotgun is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the state of North Carolina.

After interviews with the two suspects, Bobby Ray Stewart 22, of Kelford and Demonte Alexander Norman 19, of Roxobel were both charged with possession of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon.

The two men were transported to the Murfreesboro Police Department where a magistrate set bond at $300,000 for each suspect.

Chief Darryl Rowe confirmed that his department had issued warrants for the arrest and apprehension of a third suspect.

The two suspects are currently being detained at the Hertford County Jail. Both men had their first court appearances on Tuesday and are scheduled to return to court on August 4.

Rowe praised the cooperative effort between local law enforcement.

&uot;I really want to praise Captain Sumner for excellent proactive police work,&uot; Rowe said &uot;His professionalism and experience were key in diffusing what had the potential to be a tragic event. I also want to acknowledge the great work of officer Firkel and thank Sheriff Juan Vaughan and the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in bringing this potentially dangerous situation to an end without incident.&uot;