Myrtle Beach man charged in armed robbery of Garden City Beach store

troot@thesunnews.comFebruary 6, 2013 

— A Myrtle Beach man is charged with armed robbery in connection with a robbery Sunday night at a Garden City Beach area convenience store, according to authorities.

Hezekiah Bethea, 49, of Myrtle Beach was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center at 2:32 p.m. Tuesday on an armed robbery charge, according to jail records. Horry County police reported that Bethea has four prior convictions for armed robbery and one prior conviction of strong armed robbery.

Officers were called at 12:14 a.m. Sunday to the Kangaroo store at 2005 S. U.S. 17 in Garden City Beach for an armed robbery, according to an incident report. The store clerk told police that a man came into the store and asked for a package of Newport cigarettes.

The clerk said when she turned around after getting the cigarettes the man had a switchblade knife pointed at her as he leaned on the counter and demanded cash from the register, according to the report. The clerk said she voided the transaction, opened the register and gave the man $45 cash.

The clerk said the robber demanded that she go into the bathroom and count to 100 before coming out, but the clerk said she exited when she heard the door bell chime signaling that the man had left the store, according to the report.

Police reviewed video surveillance and spoke with a Surfside Beach police officer, who was in the area prior to the robbery, and determined the identity of the suspect and his vehicle, which was parked within view of the cameras.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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