Police: Teen skipping school tries to rob woman at knifepoint

Ronald Roberts Wells
Ronald Roberts Wells

Authorities say a woman managed to scare off a would-be robber by pushing her carís panic alarm. An East Spencer teen is charged with trying to rob her at knifepoint in the parking lot of the Medicine Shoppe. He was caught several blocks away and arrested.

Ronald Roberts Wells, 17, of the 200 block of Grant Street, is charged with felony attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon.

The incident occurred around 11 a.m. Thursday at the 1357 W. Innes St. pharmacy. The victim is a sales representative and was sitting in her car about to go into the business when the teen walked up to the driverís side of her Mercedes, a Salisbury Police Department report said.

He tried to open the driverís side door, but it was locked. He displayed a 10- to 12-inch butcher knife. He started beating on the door with the knife and pulling the door handle. A police report said the teen appeared frustrated with his inability to get inside the car. He went around to the passengerís side and it was locked, as well.

The woman screamed and pushed her panic alarm button. The teen took off and she went inside the pharmacy to call 911. Some officers arrived at the pharmacy while others searched the surrounding streets. The woman had given a detailed description of the suspect and he was found a short time later near Hallís Gym on West Bank Street. He was with two other teens, who were not charged.

She was able to positively identify the teen, a report said.

He remains in the Rowan County jail under $35,000 bond.

Police said the teen is a Salisbury High School student who was skipping school that day.

Police Capt. Shelia Lingle advises drivers to do what the victim did and drive with their doors locked. Because the woman had her doors locked, the suspect wasnít able to steal the vehicle or get to her. Lingle also encouraged motorists to be aware of their surroundings.

Notice about comments:

Salisburypost.com is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. Salisburypost.com cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not Salisburypost.com. If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.