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Deputies: Trio caught fleeing scene of heist

JENNA-LEY HARRISON, STAFF WRITER

Three Gaston County residents were arrested Friday in connection with armed robberies at two Lincoln County convenience stores and a third incident in South Carolina.

Lincoln County deputies said they apprehended the trio shortly after the three fled the scene Friday night at Iron Station Country Store on N.C. 27.

Authorities stopped the suspects’ SUV at the corner of Keever Dairy Farm Road and Will Schronce Road, according to a Sheriff’s Office press release.

The suspects entered the store after 9 p.m. and demanded money, the store clerk told deputies.

The incident occurred similarly to the armed robbery that took place the end of September at Ricky’s Food Mart on Gastonia Highway, authorities said. The suspects allegedly stole an undisclosed amount of money from both crime scenes.

Lincoln County authorities have charged Jeremy Parks McKee, 33, of 322 South Pine Street in Dallas, along with Amanda Kay Kennedy, 24, and Clifton Chase Johnson, 25, both of 103 East Fields Street in Dallas, for their alleged involvement in the two local break-ins.

The trio may also receive additional charges in the future in connection to a third armed robbery in Clover, S.C., the press release noted.

Each person faces one felony count of possession of stolen goods along with two felony counts of both robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy, authorities said.

McKee has additionally been charged with felony possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon, which is a misdemeanor offense.

Sheriff’s Detectives Mark Stamey and Matt Burgess along with Sgt. S. Grinnell investigated the robberies, while Deputy M. Hovis is credited with responding to Friday’s scene.

All three suspects remain in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under secured bonds. McKee is being held under a $75,000 bond while Johnson has been placed under a $51,293 bond. Kennedy is behind bars under a $50,000 bond.

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