Police Arrest Four In Tripps Robbery
Southern Pines police have charged four men with the armed robbery of Tripps Restaurant shortly before Christmas.
Two of the men arrested had previously been charged with two other robberies.
Southern Pines detectives charged Mario Antonio Wiltshire Jr., 19, Anthony Tramaine Smith, 19, Joshua I-Keem Chavis, 17, and Wesley Allen Swinnie, 16, all of Hoffman, with robbery with a dangerous weapon.
The robbery occurred Christmas Eve at 12:15 a.m., shortly after the restaurant had closed. Three men entered the restaurant and stole money from the safe. One of the suspects fired a shot during the robbery. Another kicked a manager in the face, causing a laceration.
An undisclosed amount of money was stolen. Officers charged the four Friday. The Police Department announced the arrests Monday.
Wiltshire and Smith had previously been charged with two other robberies, one armed. Police believe that they are the two men who kidnapped a man from the parking lot of Urgent Care on U.S. 15-501 on Dec. 29.
Two suspects kidnapped the man at gunpoint, forced him into the trunk of a vehicle, and made him withdraw money from an automated teller machine before leaving him at a gas station in Richmond County.
On Jan. 5, officers responded to a strong-arm robbery at an ATM on Broad Street. A man had robbed someone at the ATM and then run but had dropped a personal cell phone at the scene.
Police said that evidence recovered led to the arrest of both men. Police have now managed to link them to the Tripps Robbery as well.
Lt. Rodney Hardy said the investigation is continuing and the department is waiting on forensic evidence regarding the firearm discharge.
The four men charged with the Tripps robbery were given $25,000 bonds and have a court hearing Wednesday.
There was another restaurant attempted robbery in Southern Pines Jan. 10 when an armed man approached employees of the JFR Barn after it had closed and demanded money.
When the two employees ran, the man fired at them several times.
Police said that evidence showed the robber fired at least three shots.
The suspect is described as a black man, wearing a ski mask, jeans and a gray sweatshirt. He is about 25 years old, 6 feet tall and weighs between 160 and 180 pounds.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Southern Pines Police Department at 692-7031.
Shooting: In another case, Moore County sheriff's deputies arrested four Bennett men and charged them with shooting another man in his home.
The shooting occurred on Jan. 14. Billy Farrell Kiser, 39, of Bennett was shot in his abdomen at his home on Hall Lane. Though the home has a Bennett address, it is in Moore County.
Deputies arrested Kenneth Moore, 41, on Jan. 15. The next day, they charged Tommy Norton, 23, Edward Norton, 48, and Jimmy Moore, 46.
According to the incident report, deputies responded to 101 Hall Lane at about 9 p.m. Jan. 14. The first deputy saw Kiser lying on the ground in front of his house. Kenneth Moore was holding a towel to his right hip.
Jimmy Moore and Edward Norton were standing beside a truck next to the residence. Moore said he wanted to speak with the officer and said that he saw what happened and knew where the gun was.
The deputy asked him to show him where it was, and he pointed into the truck bed. The deputy found the gun under a pile of leaves.
A woman, Geraldine Hall, began talking to Kenneth Moore. The deputy wrote in his report that the woman said, "Ken, you know who did this and you need to tell them."
Moore then told the deputy, "Yeah, it's my fault," according to the report. The deputy then took Moore into custody.
Moore County EMS took Kiser to the hospital. Though he suffered some internal bleeding, he is expected to make a full recovery, according to deputies.
Deputies found a spent shell casing on the floor of the home, just inside the front door.
From talking to the victim, officers determined that the four men had come into his residence after Kiser had told them not to. Kenneth Moore pulled out a handgun and shot him, they wrote in the report.
Deputies charged all four with assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting serious injury, and first degree burglary. Kenneth Moore was jailed with a $20,000 bond. The other three were released on $20,000 unsecured bonds. Their first court hearing is Jan. 31.
Matthew Moriarty can be reached at 693-2479 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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