May 4—WILMINGTON — A 35-year-old Lumberton man was sentenced Monday to 20 years in federal prison for robbery, carjacking and kidnapping.
Trenton Pearson pleaded guilty to the charges on June 16, 2020, according to G. Norman Acker III, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Pearson was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II.
According to court documents and other information presented in court, Pearson committed a series of violent criminal offenses in November 2018, and August through September 2019.
Lumberton Police Department officers responded Sept. 4, 2019, to an armed robbery at the Sun-Do Kwik Stop gas station at 6697 Elizabethtown Road. The store clerk said a male approached her behind the checkout counter with a knife and demanded that she open the cash register.
The male grabbed the cash register drawer and exited the business, stealing about $500 from the Sun-Do. Surveillance footage captured Pearson on video and observed him driving the kidnapping victim's Chrysler 200.
One day earlier, about 8:30 p.m., a female victim returned to her black Chrysler 200 after shopping at a store located at 3708 Sycamore Dairy Road in Fayetteville. As she returned to her vehicle, a person entered her vehicle, placed a knife to her neck, and asked if she had any money.
When she told him no, he demanded the victim drive her to an ATM and forced her to withdraw $100. The ATM withdrawal was caught on video surveillance, and Pearson could clearly be seen on the video. According to the victim, Pearson then drove them to Red Springs.
Pearson drove to an unknown location on a dirt road and purchased crack cocaine. When she tried to escape, he put her in a headlock and cut her with a knife. Pearson utilized the victim's cell phone to further the kidnapping. The victim was ultimately able to jump out of the vehicle and seek help at a gas station.
Robeson County Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched about 9:05 p.m. on Sept. 1, 2019, to a report of a carjacking at 14389 N.C. 71 in Shannon. The victim told deputies that she entered David's General Store for a brief moment and returned to her Dodge Journey. Shortly after, she placed her vehicle into drive and felt someone place a sharp object against her throat. The suspect told her not to stop the vehicle.
She complied and asked him what he wanted. He responded that he wanted her keys. The victim then jumped out of the vehicle and fled.
Hope Mills police responded about 10 a.m. on Aug. 31, 2019, to a report of a robbery at the Dollar General Store at 2477 Hope Mills Road in Fayetteville. Officers met with the store clerk, who said a man rushed behind her counter and tackled her to the ground when she opened the cash register. The suspect stole money from the cash register that contained about $216.
St. Pauls police officers responded on Aug. 30, 2019, to an armed robbery at the Family Dollar at 407 East Broad St. Upon arrival, officers met with the store clerk, who said a male rushed behind her counter with a knife and demanded that she stay quiet. The suspect stole the entire cash register before exiting the business. About $210 and other store items were stolen during the robbery.
St. Pauls Police Department offices responded to a report of an armed robbery on Nov. 27, 2018 at the Dollar General at 584 W. Clark St. Dollar General store clerks reported the suspect kept his hand inside his coat as if he had a weapon and demanded money.
The suspect stole about $4,461 from the register and left the business on a bicycle. The clerks immediately called 911 and described the suspect. An officer observed the suspect and found him in possession of the stolen money and a knife. The suspect was identified as Trenton Pearson, and was arrested. He agreed to speak with law enforcement and admitted to the robberies.
Red Springs Police Department investigators responded on Nov. 26, 2018, to the Sun-Do Gas Station at 902 East Ave. in Red Springs to a report of an armed robbery. Store clerks told police the suspect entered the store, walked behind the counter, and pointed a silver knife at one clerk's side. He then stole about $1,539 from the cash register and exited the store.
Robeson County Sheriff's Office deputies responded on Nov. 24, 2018, to an armed robbery at the Dollar General Store at 2656 Lombardy Village Road in Lumber Bridge. Deputies met with a Dollar General Store clerk who said a male approached his checkout counter and asked him to open the cash register. The suspect walked behind the counter with a knife in his hand, demanded money and threatened to stab him.
The suspect stole about $320 from the register and exited the store.
At the time of the offenses, Pearson was on post-release supervision and revoked back to state prison for a term of months.
Investigators linked Pearson to all the robberies, and he was taken into custody on Sept. 4, 2019. He later confessed to committing the robberies.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Robeson County Sheriff's Office; and Red Springs, St. Pauls, Lumberton, and Fayetteville police departments investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad Rhoades prosecuted the case.