Teens receive charges in day robbery

By Chris Berendt - [email protected]
Gigantana -

Two teenagers — one a juvenile — are facing robbery and conspiracy charges following a daylight armed robbery in Clinton, the second incident to which one of suspects has been linked.

Jordan Ladell “Scooby” Gigantana, 18, of 109 Finch St., Clinton, was charged Monday with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and possession of firearm by a felon. A second suspect, who is 15, was charged with armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Both were taken into custody behind Sunset Avenue School playground on Kerr Street on Monday. Gigantana was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $150,000 secured bond. The 15-year-old, whose name is not being released, was charged on juvenile petition and, through a custody order, was transported to the New Hanover County Juvenile Detention Center.

The charges against the two stem from a robbery reported just minutes before 3 p.m. Monday in the area of Woodland Drive and Herring Street. The two male victims, 21 and 26, said they were approached by the two teenagers and robbed at gunpoint.

According to reports, $34 was reportedly taken.

Officers responded to the area of Woodland Drive and Herring Street, where two males were in a Nissan Pathfinder. A suspect description was given for a black male with dreadlocks wearing a long tan in color sweater. He was armed with a handgun and running toward downtown on Herring Street, according to reports.

Reports state that he ran along the edge of the wood line before entering the woods near an old pond. There was also a second suspect, who appeared to be Puerto Rican or of Hispanic descent. One suspect had a small black handgun, the other a machine gun.

Police Sgt. Matt Bland deployed K-9 Junior on the north side of Herring Street near the ditch line. After a great deal of tracking, the two teen suspects were found, squatting down in a low-lying area of Kerr Street. They were told walk up the hill toward officers. While the juvenile was compliant, Gigantana reportedly was not.

After the two were taken into custody, officers went into the woods and discovered cash on the ground, matching the bills and metal clip the victims had reported stolen. The officers continued to look for the guns, but were unable to find them, believing that they could have been thrown into the old pond.

Edwards said the armed robbery is believed to be a random incident, matching one for which Gigantana was charged just three months ago.

“We don’t know why they were targeted,” Edwards said of the victims. “They knew of (the suspects) by street name, but we don’t have any information now that they knew them well.”

Gigantana was charged with armed robbery in late August after allegedly robbing someone at gunpoint in the area of Subway on Northeast Boulevard. A scuffle for the gun took place, a shot was fired and a foot chase ensued, spilling across the street into the Carlie C’s parking lot.

Gigantana was taken into custody the next day and placed under $50,000 secured bond for the charge.

A 20-year-old victim sustained scratches on his hands and arms and injuries below his eyes. He reported that he was parked at Subway talking to a female when Gigantana and another male drove up at the location. Gigantana approached him with a gun and demanded that he give him “everything he had,” according to reports.

According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety, Gigantana was convicted in April 2016 in Sampson County of possession with intent to sell and deliver a Schedule IV controlled substance. He was given a suspended sentence and three years probation. His probationary status is currently listed as active, court records show.

Juvenile, alleged recidivist in custody

By Chris Berendt

[email protected]

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.