RAEFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — After a robbery and kidnapping at a gas station in Raeford Tuesday evening, the community is on high alert.
“I’m watching… I’m watching out. I won’t come at night anymore and get gas. It’s crazy,” said Cornelius Kelly while filling up his car at the Lucky Stop gas station near Highway 401 and Rockfish Road.
Kelly said he and several others in the Raeford community learned about the kidnapping at the business earlier in the week.
The Hoke County Sheriff’s Office said they are continuing to search for two masked men who approached a family while they were filling up their car at the gas station late Tuesday night.
Investigators said one of the men pointed a gun at the adults who were standing near the pump. The business showed CBS 17 surveillance video of the men who quickly jumped in the car and took off.
You could see one of the adults chasing the car, but the suspects got away. A mile down the road, the suspects dropped the children off at another gas station.
“They shouldn’t have taken the car at all. But the kids, that’s something you don’t play with right there,” said Kelly.
The father of four said the gas station is located near his home and is still a convenient stop. However, Kelly made sure to bring a gun on his hip for his own safety Thursday after learning about the situation.
Melissa Johnson who also lives near the business said she made sure to bring a friend while going to get gas. She said,
“I don’t ever feel like coming here by myself at night or driving to any other gas station by myself,” said Johnson. “Not unless I have somebody else in the car.”
Johnson said she was relieved to learn that the children who were in the car were able to get out of the vehicle safely and reunite with their family.
“Who would have thought this situation would’ve happened on a busy street like this,” she asked.
Hoke County Sheriff’s Deputies said they have had a lot of help from people’s tips during their investigation. They told CBS17 News that they have a lead on one of the suspects. They are continuing to ask anyone who has information to reach out and call 910-875-5111.