Rowan man with extensive criminal history faces robbery, vehicle theft, other offenses

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 28, 2020

By Shavonne Potts

SALISBURY — A local man with an extensive criminal history faces robbery charges, vehicle theft and multiple offenses following a weekend robbery at a convenience store.

Jimmy Ray Blackwell, 55, was charged with two counts of felony attempted common law robbery, first-degree burglary, breaking and entering a motor vehicle, one count of larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of a controlled substance schedule III, felony fleeing to elude arrest and hit and run property damage.

On Sunday, Rowan County Sheriff’s deputies responded to 3381 Old Mocksville Road at 6 p.m. to a robbery in progress at Durga Mart, formerly SV Discount. According to the caller, a white man wearing a camouflage long-sleeved shirt, tan shorts, and white socks with flip flops, according to Rowan County Sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford.

Two employees said a man had stood outside the store for several minutes before he went inside. The cashier told deputies she ran out of change while ringing up a customer. When she bent down under the register to retrieve the change, the man, later identified as Jimmy Blackwell, dove under the plexiglass barrier and attempted to grab some change, Sifford said.

The woman yelled for her co-worker. The co-worker drew her own weapon and pulled Blackwell off the counter. He began to fight the woman until he saw her gun. He ran out of the store.

While deputies were en route another call was made to 911 from a man who said someone tried to steal his Dodge pickup. The man, who was calling from 3310 Old Mocksville Road, said the suspect said he had a gun but the victim never saw one. The suspect choked the victim and released him when the victim struck the suspect several times.

The suspect ran into nearby woods, the victim told deputies. A K-9 was called in to track the suspect, but he was not immediately apprehended.

On Monday, a woman told Salisbury police her unlocked Saturn Vue was stolen while she was at her mother’s house, 3124 Old Mocksville Road. The woman admitted she’d seen officers searching for a man the day before. The police officer told the woman her vehicle was involved in a chase and subsequent crash.

Jimmy Ray Blackwell, was determined to have crashed the Saturn and took off on foot. According to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Blackwell also broke into several vehicles and attempted to break into a house.

He remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $156,500 secured bond.

Blackwell has been convicted of numerous offenses to include: felony common law robbery, felony possession of stolen goods, misdemeanor assault on a female, misdemeanor larceny, attempted second-degree kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a felon.