Third man wanted for armed robberies, break-ins

Published 10:00 pm Monday, February 25, 2013


Two have been arrested and a third is still wanted by law enforcement for a string of robberies, and thefts, spanning a few weeks in December and January.

According to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, Adam Augustus Tate, 20, of Clark Road, Bath, and Ethan Casey Sparrow, 21, of Woodstock Road, Belhaven, were charged for breaking into two private schools, a church and a business, in addition to two convenience store armed robberies. A third man, William Dakota Selby, 20, of Highway 45, Belhaven, is still at large.

The crime spree began on Dec. 22, when a report of an armed robbery came from The Quarterdeck Marina on Carteret Street in Bath, said a sheriff’s office press release. Two white males, one with a handgun and both with faces covered, demanded money then fled the scene on foot, said the release. A similar crime was repeated five day later when a robbery occurred at Hilda’s Country Store on Cherry Run Road, in Washington. This time, both suspects had handguns and again fled on foot, to a waiting car, said the release.

“Investigation indicated they fled to a waiting vehicle where the third suspect was waiting to aid in their escape,” said Maj. Kenneth Watson, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

However, Watson said the second armed robbery provided the evidence that pointed investigators to the suspects.

“Early on in the investigations, the video from Hilda’s Country Store was a key piece of evidence, because they have a top notch video surveillance system that provided several different views of the suspects and their vehicle,” Watson explained.

In the meantime, the break-ins at Terra Ceia Christian School in Pantego and Pungo Christian Academy occurred on Dec. 31. A document fire safe at Terra Ceia was pried open; stolen were cash, gift and fundraising cards. Cash, bank bags, deposit slips and two Dell laptop computers were stolen from Pungo, said the press release.

While the suspects allegedly broke into the Terra Ceia Reformed Church in Pantego on Jan. 2, nothing was reported stolen.

“For whatever reason, they did not find anything missing,” Watson said.

The last incident occurred on Jan. 10 when copper wire was reported stolen from a piece of equipment at Southern States on West Main Street in Belhaven. Watson said the wire has not turned up in the investigation.

Tate was arrested on Jan. 8; Sparrow was served a warrant charging him with the same at the Beaufort County Detention Center on Feb. 22, where he was being held on a probation violation. Selby has not been arrested.

Both men have been charged with two counts each of robbery with a dangerous weapon, two counts each of breaking and entering, two counts each of larceny after breaking and entering, one count each of felony safe cracking for the school break-ins, one count each of breaking and entering a place of worship and one count each of misdemeanor larceny for the copper wire theft.

When asked why there were so many crimes committed over a short period of time, Watson responded, “We believe this was their only means of income. None of them appear to have viable employment. Investigation indicates that some of the monies generated from the crimes funded drug purchases.”

Watson said that the third man, Selby, is thought to be in Texas, but may return to the area.

The sheriff’s office asks anyone with information on the whereabouts of William Dakota Selby to contact Beaufort County Crime Stoppers by phone, text or through their website. Call 252-974-6400; text a tip anonymously by dialing 274637 on a cellphone and in the body of the message, type BCSO131 and the tip; or submit a tip through the Crime Stoppers website,, by following the “Tip Line” link and filling out an online form. Calls, texts and emails are anonymous. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information that leads to Selby’s arrest. Tipsters do not have to give their name to receive a reward.