Three in custody in armed robbery that prompted hospital lockdown

Two in custody, search continues for one armed robber after hospital lockdown in Morganton

MORGANTON, N.C. (WBTV) - Officials say three armed robbery suspects have been arrested after a hospital was put on lockdown in Morganton last week.

Officials initially believed that a stolen city vehicle was connected to the armed robbery, but Thursday afternoon they reported that the two crimes were unrelated.

The third robbery suspect, 18-year-old Stephen Craig, turned himself in in Shelby. He was served two warrants and given a $25,000 bond.

One suspect, who was arrested Thursday evening, initially gave police a false name. The suspect’s actual identity, police said Friday, is Kamau Clark. He is charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and first-degree kidnapping - for allegedly confining the victim and moving the victim from one place in the store to another.

Officials say Clark was convicted in 2017 of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, and sentenced to serve at least two years. He was freed Feb. 2019. Clark was also convicted in 2017 of common law robbery, got 30 months probation and was still under probation when Thursday’s incident happened.

Warrants say Allison got $300 in the robbery. His bond was $100,000, but was raised to $500,000 after it was discovered he lied about his name.

Derik Montre Williams, 20, a second suspect in the case was reportedly taken into custody Friday morning. Williams was located at a house in Shelby on Friday afternoon and taken into custody. He is currently facing charges for breaking and entering as well as larceny.

Officials say three armed men, dressed in dark clothing, robbed the Speedway gas station on South Sterling Street in Morganton near Carolinas Healtchare System BlueRidge.

The robbers ran from the store after getting the cash and ran into a neighborhood where authorities say they stole a pickup truck.

Rita Russ says she was asleep when she heard her truck crank up.

“I looked out the window and saw two heads pop up in the truck and they took off and I called 911,” Russ said.

Morganton Public safety officers spotted the vehicle and gave chase on Interstate 40. The chase wound up on Mineral Springs Mountain Avenue, a dead-end road atop Mineral Springs Mountain near Valdese.

The truck wrecked and the men inside ran off. People who live on the mountain were advised to lock their doors at the homes and vehicles and contact 911 if they have a sighting of one or both these suspects.

Stephen Craig
Stephen Craig (Source: Morganton Public Safety)

The suspect was later identified as Craig, who officials say was considered “armed and dangerous” while he was being sought.

An active manhunt is going on for two of the suspects on Mineral Springs Mountain Road with multiple agencies and law enforcement officers in the area.
An active manhunt is going on for two of the suspects on Mineral Springs Mountain Road with multiple agencies and law enforcement officers in the area.

The theft of a City of Morganton truck, it turned out, was not related to the robbery.

Late Thursday afternoon authorities said the truck was found in North Myrtle Beach and determined that the two men arrested there were not involved in the armed robbery.

A shelter in place was issued at several businesses during the ordeal.

Police chased the two men in the red truck down Interstate 40 before the truck pulled off at Exit 113 and was abandoned in Mineral Springs.

According to a message sent to people who work in the area, the robbery happened on South Sterling Street. “IF YOU SEE OR HEAR ANYTHING, DO NOT APPROACH, SUBJECTS ARE CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS,” the message read.

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