Trio wanted after pregnant clerk zip-tied, wrapped in duct tape during robbery

Pregnant clerk tied up in robbery

GRANITE FALLS, NC (WBTV) - Investigators have released photos of three people they believe zip-tied a pregnant clerk and wrapped her in duct tape during an armed robbery in Granite Falls Tuesday.

Rebekah Ruetnik says she knew she was about to be robbed early Tuesday at the convenience store where she worked, but she did not expect what the crooks did next.

Ruetnik was alone on the late shift at the Tobacco to Go store on Highway 321-A and saw three people wearing masks come in. One pointed a gun at her.

“He said, 'freeze and put your hands behind your back.'”

That’s when one of the robbers used zip-ties to bind her hands together. He then pulled out a roll of duct tape and proceeded to wrap her in it. All of it was caught on surveillance video.

Ruetnik said she stayed calm because “they were gonna do what they were gonna do.” And she had a secret the attackers did not know - she was pregnant. That was her big worry.

After wrapping her in tape, she was put in a back bathroom. Surveillance video shows the crooks then got into the register, stole money, then stole cartons of Marlboro cigarettes before leaving.

On Thursday, police released a photo of three people they believe purchased the items used in the robbery at a nearby store, as well a photo of a truck connected to the robbery.

(Source: Granite Falls Police Department)
(Source: Granite Falls Police Department)

Police believe there was a fourth person involved who waited outside as a lookout.

Ruetnik was able to get out of the bathroom as a customer came in and police were then called. So far, the suspects have not been identified.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Granite Falls Police Department at 828-396-3358.

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