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Police: Hold-up suspect caught trying to ditch ‘silver knife’



Lincolnton Police arrested a Cherryville man accused of robbing a Lincolnton convenience store early Monday morning.

The incident comes as one of many armed robberies across the county in recent months.

Bruce Lee Strickland, 32, of 2703 Lincolnton Highway in Cherryville, was apprehended while walking along South Edwards Street in Lincolnton, police said.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Hovis spotted the suspect. Authorities also reported witnessing Strickland “toss a silver knife on the ground,” according to a police department press release.

Strickland allegedly used the knife earlier to threaten a store clerk at Little Market Food Basket on East Main Street and demand money out of the cash register, authorities said.

Police noted that the incident occurred during the suspect’s second visit to the store that morning. He had been in earlier to buy a drink, police said.

Strickland has been charged with one felony count of robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons. He’s accused of stealing $110 in cash, a report noted.

He currently remains behind bars under a $15,000 secured bond.

In 2002, Strickland was convicted of indecent liberties with a child in Lincoln County, according to the North Carolina Department of Correction website.

He also has numerous other felony convictions listed on his public record in both Gaston and Lincoln County, dating back to 1997 and including common law robbery, breaking and entering, larceny and failure to notify authorities of a change of address for a sex offender, a felony for which Strickland received a prison sentence of nearly four years.

Lincolnton Police Lt. Brian Greene and Officer Kristy Mueller responded to the store to investigate the incident.

In addition, Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies assisted Officer Jimmy Barlowe, Sgt. Spencer Summers and Lt. Kenny Shrum in searching the area for a suspect, police said.

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