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Authorities seek armed robbery suspect

Staff report
A Rockwell man, considered armed and dangerous, is being sought in a home invasion and robbery Saturday afternoon.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office is searching for Gerald Dwight Ridenhour, 35, of Lower Palmer Road , who is believed to still be in the Rockwell area.
Capt. John Sifford said deputies responded to a reported robbery around 2:40 p.m. Saturday at the home of Terri Eller, 106 Sage Lane, Rockwell.
Eller told deputies that Marcia Hess, who owed her money, came to her house Saturday afternoon.
When she opened the door for Hess, a man forced his way into the house. Displaying a small silver handgun, he threatened to kill Eller if she didn’t turn over various pills.
The man took an undisclosed quantity of Lortab and Xanax pills, prescription medication.
Eller told deputies that Hess, who referred to the man as “John,” left with him.
Neither Eller nor neighbors saw a vehicle leave the area.
Deputies later went to 1095 John Miller Road, Rockwell, where Hess lives. She gave consent to search the house and a vehicle.
As a result of the investigation, deputies identified the man as Ridenhour, who had been living in a barn on Lower Palmer Road.
Sifford said deputies searched the barn and surrounding area, but failed to find Ridenhour.
Hess has been charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and trafficking heroin. She is being held in the Rowan County Detention Center with bond set at $20,000.
Anyone with information on Ridenhour is asked to call the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office at 704-216-8700.

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