Suspected robber caught twice

Published 12:46 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2011

FRANKLIN—Twice in four days, police say Devonte Riddick committed armed robbery.


And twice he got caught, including after allegedly holding up a 73-year-old Sedley woman on her way to visit a resident at East Pavilion in Franklin.

Riddick, 18, of Seaboard, N.C., on Thursday remained in Western Tidewater Regional Jail in Suffolk in connection with last Friday’s armed robbery outside the nursing home at Southampton Memorial Hospital. No bond had been set, a jail spokeswoman said.

That wasn’t the case in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., where Riddick is accused of holding up a man four days earlier. Police caught Riddick within hours and he was taken to Halifax County Jail. He posted $10,000 bond and was released two days before the alleged armed robbery in Franklin.

“It’s so frustrating,” said Franklin Police Lt. Tim Whitt. “Here is this old lady minding her own business, just as sweet as she can be, and she is the victim of a violent crime by someone who shouldn’t be out on the streets to begin with.”

“It’s unfortunate that law enforcement responds to crimes, putting their lives in danger, arresting violent suspects,” Whitt continued. “True, everyone is innocent before proven guilty, but to let (offenders of) violent crimes out . . . the system needs a major overall.”

Shortly after midnight on March 8, Riddick was approached by a man outside a convenience store for a ride, said Roanoke Rapids Police Capt. Andy Jackson.

Riddick agreed.

“He got into the truck and the victim asked to be let out when the suspect acted suspiciously,” Jackson said. “The victim said when he got out of the truck, the driver pointed a shotgun at him and demanded his wallet.”

The victim surrendered his wallet, which contained $270, and went back to the store to report the crime, Jackson said. Surveillance cameras at the store led police to Riddick later in the day.

In Franklin, Riddick is accused of approaching the Sedley woman at 2:50 p.m. from behind with a pistol and grabbing and stealing her purse. He jumped into a sport utility vehicle driven by Casey Carter, also 18 of Seaboard, police said. The pair fled into Southampton County before they were arrested off Main Street in Courtland.

Police found the gun on the sidewalk. Whitt said Thursday it’s believed the gun was stolen from Roanoke Rapids.