Robbery suspect caught during checkpoint
Sherry Matthews Editor
A Labor Day weekend checkpoint on N.C. 24 allowed officers to take the third suspect in a Salemburg robbery from over a year ago into custody.
Working along N.C. 24 west near the open air market, troopers with the N.C. Highway Patrol were conducting a DWI checkpoint when Edward Micah Howard came through. A check of the DMV database revealed that Howard was wanted by Sampson authorities in connection with an August 2012 robbery at the Silver Spoon in Salemburg.
Howard, 20, of 406 Royal Lane, Clinton, was immediately taken into custody and charged with attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, both felonies.
He was jailed under a $100,000 bond and remained behind bars late Tuesday afternoon.
Howard is the third of four suspects arrested in connection with the Aug. 25, 2012 incident which occurred at the Silver Spoon on North Salemburg Highway. Already taken into custody and charged was Anthony Brent Smith, who was picked up by Clayton Police in November and Travis Blackmon, who was taken into custody in October 2012. A fourth man is still being sought and Sheriff’s Cpl. Marcus Smith said an investigation into the incident continues.
According to an August 2012 article in The Sampson Independent, the incident occurred on Saturday, Aug. 25 when four men attempted to rob a Salemburg businessman but instead received a surprise when the owner turned the tables, grabbing his gun and shooting at them.
It all began when the 43-year-old owner of Silver Spoon, located in the 1900 block of Salemburg Highway in Salemburg, was closing his business for the evening, according to reports from the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office.
The man, reports noted, was locking up the business around 1:47 a.m. early Saturday morning when a suspect approached him, put a handgun to his back and pushed him inside the front door of his business, demanding money.
The owner and the suspect began to tussle with the weapon when both broke free. The owner managed to get to his personal handgun and began firing at the suspect, who fled out the front door.
In shooting at the suspect, the owner struck a front window and damaged a drink machine. The damage was estimated at $1,200.
No injuries were reported in the incident.
One man reportedly got into a blue Crown Victoria with three other men. In an attempt to get out of the area quickly, the driver of the vehicle backed into a light pole. Because of the angle of the car, it was unable to move forward, effectively stranding the suspects.
All four of the males jumped out of the car and fled on foot.
Through investigation, Smith said, Howard was linked to the crime, but officers had not been able to locate him until this weekend, when he came through the checkpoint.
That’s one reason, Smith noted, that checkpoints are so valuable to officers. “They do more than help us catch traffic offenders.”
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