Crime Stoppers seeks public help on Aurora robbery

Published 7:03 pm Thursday, January 9, 2020

AURORA — The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and Beaufort County Crime Stoppers are asking for the public’s help to solve a robbery in Aurora last month.

According to a Crime Stoppers press release, two employees of the Aurora Family Dollar were robbed at gunpoint at around 10:45 p.m. on the night of Dec. 21, as they attempted to make the store’s nightly deposit at the Aurora branch of Southern Bank.

The victims told responding deputies the suspect stepped out from behind a pole as they were about to make the deposit, threw a tan backpack at them and told them to put the money in the bag.

According to investigators, the suspect was wearing a mask with a skull on it and a distinctive brown coat with stripes. BCSO Lt. Jim Vanlandingham said the robber was brandishing a handgun during the robbery.

(Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office)

“The mask itself and the coat are unusual,” Vanlandingham said. “It looks like a brown coat with some stripes on it. It just looks like the kind of coat that somebody down there would look at and say, ‘Hey, I know somebody who wears a coat like that.’”

After collecting the money, the suspect then fled the scene toward the back of the bank. The release says a BCSO deputy was on scene within three minutes of the robbery, but was unable to locate the suspect.

Because of the timing and circumstances of the robbery, Vanlandingham says it was almost certainly premeditated.

“It’s not hard to figure out what time every business down there closes,” Vandlandingham said. “… I’m sure this person knew what time the business would close down and what time they would be coming out with the money. It’s not just a happenstance thing; I’m sure it was planned.”

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office at 252-946-7111 or Beaufort County Crime Stoppers at 252-974-6400. Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of up to a $1,000 for anonymous information leading to an arrest in this case, as well as other local crimes.