Four teens are in custody in connection with an armed robbery that led into a police chase through Union and Mecklenburg counties Wednesday.
According to the Union County Sheriff's Office, two masked men robbed the Verizon Wireless store on East Independence Boulevard in Indian Trail at gunpoint shortly before 11:30 a.m. There were two customers and three employees inside the business at the time of the armed robbery.
Deputies say one of the robbers forced an employee to fill a bag up with mobile phones before the pair fled the scene in a red Lexus IS250, heading west on US 74.
The robbers reportedly held up employees and customers who were inside the store, deputies say.
A short time later, deputies found the Lexus abandoned in the driveway of a home on Stallings Road. Officials say the Lexus had been reported stolen from Charlotte. The men then fled toward Charlotte in a Kia Sorento, deputies say.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police were able to track the wanted vehicle by using their helicopter. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police then spotted the vehicle in the Charlotte area and attempted to stop the driver. The driver refused and a chase began, police say.
The chase then ended when the driver crashed on Pleasant Grove Road near Brookshire Boulevard. The suspect's vehicle overturned several times during the crash.
Two of the suspects fled from the vehicle but were apprehended a short time later, deputies say. Two others were also arrested.
Sean Christopher Rutherford, 19, and Olquandri Shemik McNeal, 19, were both charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery, second-degree kidnapping and possessing a stolen vehicle.
Both are expected to appear in court on August 7.
Deputies say a 15-year-old and a 14-year-old were also arrested. The juveniles face the same charges as Rutherford and McNeal.
Sheriff Eddie Cathey released this statement:
"The witnesses provided detailed information to responding deputies and that information was shared with other agencies very quickly. We are very thankful for the cooperation from CMPD and how fast they reacted.”
Additional charges are likely, deputies say.
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