North Carolina man sentenced to nine years in prison for clothing store robbery

Published 1:01 pm Monday, February 28, 2022

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Rashad Jerrod Taylor, 34, of Ahoskie, was sentenced Thursday, February 17, 2022 to 108 months in prison for interference of commerce by robbery, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina. The October 2020 indictment charged Taylor with three robbery offenses: the February 26, 2019, robbery of Food Mart in Aulander in Bertie County; the November 14, 2019, robbery of Speedway and the November 30, 2019, robbery of Citi Trends, both located in Ahoskie in Hertford County. Taylor entered a guilty plea to robbing Citi Trends on November 19, 2021.

According to court records and statements made during hearings, on November 30, 2019 at around 6:30 p.m., Taylor entered the Citi Trends clothing store in Ahoskie with a hunting knife. “The manager was present with one employee and four customers,” stated the release. “Taylor told the manager to give him everything and led her behind the counter to the register. He told her to hurry up and thrust the knife at her in a stabbing motion before holding it near her neck. Taylor took $475 and walked calmly out of the store.”

The Hertford County Sheriff’s Office responded and gathered written statements and video surveillance of the robbery, according to the release. An officer detained Taylor a fifth of a mile from Citi Trends a short time later; Taylor’s clothing matched the description from the robbery and a pat down for weapons revealed $454 in his pockets.

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“Taylor was transported to the City Trends parking lot, and the manager identified him as the robber. After Taylor became upset and began speaking, the manager also noted that she recognized his voice,” stated the release. “During processing, officers seized from Taylor a small baggie containing cocaine. Officers estimated that the cocaine would have cost $20 on the street, accounting for all but $1 of the difference in recovered and stolen money.”

According to the release, Taylor’s federal prosecution followed nine prior state felony convictions, including common law robbery, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, two convictions for being a felon in possession of firearms and multiple drug-related felonies.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Aulander Police Department, Ahoskie Police Department, Bertie County Sheriff’s Office, Hertford County Sheriff’s Office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake D. Pugh prosecuted the case.