Robbers caught after car chase, $1 million in jewelry recovered

A vehicle chase led to the arrests of three men and a woman Wednesday in connection with a $1 million daytime robbery from a Friedman’s Jewelers in Dunn, N.C., according to media reports.

A team of federal marshals apprehended the suspects with help from local police, reports the Dunn Daily Record reports. Authorities also turned over a child found inside the getaway vehicle to a local social services agency.

One of the suspects was Vincent Sumpter, 34, of Raleigh, a fugitive who is suspected of robbing two jewelry stores in Raleigh within the last two months, a member of the U.S. Marshals Service Violent Fugitive Task Force told the newspaper.

Sumpter is charged with two counts of armed robbery and seven counts of kidnapping. Dunn Police also charged him with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, resisting arrest, and fugitive parole violation, the newspaper reports.

Also arrested on the robbery, kidnapping, and resisting arrest charges in the Dunn robbery were Michael McKenzie, 23, of New York; Samira Alston, 31, of Raleigh; and Terell Johnson, 33, also of Raleigh, the newspaper reports. They were not suspects with the Raleigh robberies.

Alston, the driver of the getaway vehicle, was also charged with misdemeanor child abuse, failure to stop for blue light siren, and careless and reckless driving. She and Sumpter are the parents of the 3-year-old boy found inside the vehicle.

According to a news release from the Eastern District office of the U.S. Marshals Service, a group of federal marshals staked out near Friedman’s Jewelers located in the Rivers Edge shopping center saw a gold Lincoln Navigator enter the parking lot. The vehicle was registered to Austin. A mobile surveillance had been maintained on the vehicle from Raleigh to Dunn.

Surveillance was maintained to identify the vehicle’s occupants, and members of the Task Force saw three men enter the jewelry store and produce firearms, then wave them in the air, according to the release.

Dunn Police told the newspaper that two of the employees were handcuffed.

Police chased them at speeds up to 70 mph, until the SUV crashed into a fence, local Raleigh television news station NBC-17 reports.

Federal marshals and local law enforcement officers searched the getaway vehicle. Among the items found were three handguns and several pairs of rubber gloves, the Dunn newspaper reports. The jewelry from Friedman’s was recovered and estimated to be in excess of $1 million in value, according to the store’s owners.