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Dollar General robber arrested in N.C.

Posted: February 26, 2018 5:08 p.m.
Updated: February 27, 2018 1:00 a.m.
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Ron Houser

A North Carolina man thought to be responsible for three robberies in three years at Kershaw County Dollar General stores is now behind bars.

According to a Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) press release, investigators from the KCSO and Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office traveled to North Carolina and assisted officers from the Stallings (N.C.) Police Department in arresting Ron Luclaire Houser, 41.

Houser allegedly robbed the Dollar General on Roseborough Road in Lugoff at gunpoint on Dec. 4, 2016, and assaulted a female store employee during the robbery. On Oct. 15, 2017, Houser allegedly robbed the Dollar General store on Jefferson Davis Hwy. in east Camden at gunpoint, getting away with an undisclosed amount of money. Three months later, he allegedly returned to Lugoff to rob the Dollar General store on U.S. 1 at gunpoint.

In all three cases, witnesses and victims described the robber as an African-American male, about 6 feet tall, 220 pounds and approximately 40 years of age, carrying a silver and black handgun.

According to the KCSO press release, Kershaw County investigators discovered that numerous Dollar General stores throughout North and South Carolina had also been robbed by a black male fitting the same description using the same type of handgun. Investigators began coordinating investigative efforts with law enforcement agencies in Lancaster County, Fairfield County, Fort Mill and Rock Hill as well as several law enforcement agencies in North Carolina. KCSO investigators provided these agencies with video surveillance footage of the Kershaw County armed robberies and the routine the suspect used when he robbed the stores.

Law enforcement agencies in North and South Carolina notified Dollar General store managers within their jurisdictions and made them aware of the suspect’s description and his method of operation when robbing the stores.

According to the KCSO press release, a Locust, N.C., police officer, who was familiar with the suspect’s vehicle, spotted it backed in to a space in front of a Dollar General store there. She was able to follow and obtain the tag number from the suspect’s vehicle. Further investigation identified the suspect by name and photograph which matched the description of the suspect in all of the armed robberies. Officers identified that suspect as Houser, who has a criminal history that includes numerous armed robberies for which he had served 19 years in prison. The KCSO said Houser had been released in late 2015.

Kershaw County investigators obtained a photograph of Houser from North Carolina authorities and requested the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division to prepare a photo lineup. This lineup was shown to the most recent Kershaw County Dollar General armed robbery victim who identified Houser as the man who had robbed the store. Kershaw County investigators then obtained arrest warrants for Houser and advised North Carolina that the KCSO had armed robbery charges on him.

KCSO investigators obtained information as to Houser’s whereabouts and provided that to the Stallings Police Department. On Feb. 22, two KCSO investigators and two Lancaster County investigators traveled to North Carolina and assisted Stallings officers in arresting Houser and searching his vehicle and home.

According to the KCSO press release, Houser is detained in North Carolina on a $401,000.00 bond with holds placed on him by several law enforcement agencies in North and South Carolina. Houser is the suspect in armed robberies in 20 different jurisdictions.

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