No one likes crime, but everyone should like the fact that when they occur our local law enforcement officers are at the ready and working diligently to find those believed to have committed them before more issues arise.
Such was the case last week in two separate incidents involving Clinton Police and Sampson County Sheriff’s investigators. Both incidents would be considered violent crimes — one an armed robbery of a downtown pharmacy, the other an armed home invasion — and in both cases, individuals were in custody within 48 hours of their occurrence.
That is to the credit of hard-working law enforcement officers who tenaciously investigated the incidents, interviewing individuals and running down leads until suspects were in custody. Credit, too, must be given to those willing to provide information, offering officers something to go on in both cases that could lead them to the alleged culprits of the crimes.
In the city incident, the armed robbery was the first violent offense to take place in the downtown since surveillance cameras were set up in 2012, proving, we believe, what a deterrent they have really been in that time period.
That incident involved a man wearing sunglasses and a surgical mask entering the building, walking up to the pharmacist and demanding drugs using as a threat a box with a cellular phone taped to it, one he claimed had a bomb inside. It turned out there was no bomb, but those involved in the incident had no way of knowing that for sure and acted appropriately in dealing with the man.
Police response was immediate and intense, with officers scouring the downtown area in search of the suspect while other investigators worked to interview business employees, trying to piece together what happened in hopes one thread would tie into another, leading them to a suspect.
It took less than eight hours for officers to have someone in custody, and only a few hours more to process and charge him with what turned out to be a long list of felony offenses fitting the crimes that were committed.
We applaud officers for their diligence in working the case.
Sheriff’s officers also deserve our kudos for resolving a violent crime that occurred two days later in southern Sampson when two masked and armed men burst into a Garland home, robbed the victims, shooting one of them in the process.
While the injury was not life-threatening, the incident was extremely dangerous, with the two men fleeing on foot. Both were considered armed and dangerous.
County officers responded immediately to the call and were intent in their investigation, working for hours at the scene to piece together what happened along with suspect information that might lead them to those they believed responsible.
The work paid off, and by late afternoon one man was in custody and the other identified. Less than 24 hours later, the second suspect was also in custody. Both those individuals now face a laundry list of felonies fitting the crimes they have been accused of committing.
In both incidents, it was the hard work of law enforcement officers that made the difference, that and the combined efforts of being willing to get involved and provide officers what information they had.
It takes that kind of work to keep our communities safe, and we take our hats off to all those involved in both those cases.