On Monday afternoon (February 21st) an 83-year-old woman was parking her car in the lower level parking deck at Dillard’s at Valley Hills Mall. She told police she was approached by a young black man wearing a hoodie and a mask covering his mouth and nose. She said he displayed a handgun and said, “keys, keys.” The elderly woman said she gave him the keys to her 2001 Buick Century, which he then drove away.
On Thursday (February 24th) the car was located at a gas station in Palm Coast, Florida by the Flagler County Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff’s Office had received the B.O.L.O. (Be On the Lookout) submitted by the Hickory Police Department’s Communication Center. An alert deputy observed the vehicle parked at the gas pumps, occupied by four juveniles including two teen boys ages 15 & 17 and two teen girls, 15 & 16. The 17-year-old boy and the two girls had previously been reported missing to the Hickory Police Department. The 15-year-old boy had been reported missing to the Long View Police Department. The younger of the two boys matched the description of the robbery suspect and a Sig Sauer P365 BB air pistol and a ski mask was located in his jacket pockets.
All four juveniles were placed under arrest for grand theft of a motor vehicle and the 15-year-old was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon while committing a felony. The NC Division of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Florida Department of Children and Family were working together to facilitate the transportation of the juveniles back to North Carolina.