Area police identify man wanted in string of robberies in Conway, Myrtle Beach

troot@thesunnews.comJanuary 28, 2014 

Richard Cowart

Area police are searching for a 43-year-old man in connection to three robberies, including a bank, in Conway and Myrtle Beach, authorities said.

Richard James Cowart, 43, was identified as the suspect in a bank robbery that occurred Monday in Conway and Lt. Selena Small said a warrant was issued for his arrest.

“The subject is considered armed and dangerous,” Small said in a release. “Anyone that may know Richard Cowart’s whereabouts or comes into contact with him should contact their local law enforcement agency immediately.”

Myrtle Beach police also identified Cowart as a suspect in two robberies of pharmacies in the city on Sunday, Myrtle Beach police Capt. David Knipes said Tuesday.

Police released photos from video surveillance of each of the robberies, which showed a man with a similar build and features.

Cowart is believed to be driving a red 1988 Ford Ranger with a South Carolina license plate of JNH904, police said.

Cowart is wanted in connection with a robbery at 9:08 a.m. Monday when Conway police were called to the BB&T Bank branch at 2300 U.S. 501 East, Small said. A man robbed a teller and then ran from the bank. Police searched the area, but did not find the suspect.

On Sunday, two Myrtle Beach businesses were robbed by a man, who also fit the same description and used a note during the crimes.

Officers were first called about 8:45 a.m. Sunday to CVS at 512 S. Kings Highway for a robbery where the robber put a toothbrush and note on the counter for the clerk, police said. The note said “give me all your money.”

The clerk said she looked at the man and he then pulled out a gun from his pants waistband and ordered her to give him the money or he’d shoot her, according to the report. The clerk said she took the cash register drawer out and put it on the counter and the man took the cash and then left the store.

The second robbery occurred that afternoon at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Rite Aid at 7800 N. Kings Highway, police said.

In that robbery, the clerk said the man got a trial size bottle of mouth wash and trial size tube of toothpaste and put it on the counter along with a note that demanded money from the register, according to the report. That clerk said she also looked up at the robber after reading the note and he reached toward the front of his pants and demanded all the money.

The clerk gave him the money from her register, which was estimated to be about $300, and the robber left the store, according to the report. No other details were available about the incidents.

Horry County police also are investigating a robbery on Saturday at a Rite Aid pharmacy in their jurisdiction, but Lt. Robert Kegler could not be reached Tuesday to confirm that Cowart has been identified as a suspect in it.

Horry County police were called at 9:15 p.m. to the Rite Aid at 1905 S.C. 544 for an armed robbery, according to a police report. In that robbery, the suspect came into the store, went to the counter and gave the clerk a note and asked her to tell him where directions were for the location.

When the clerk opened the note it read: “I’m robbing you,” according to the report. The clerk said the robber demanded money from the cash register and he lifted his shirt to show her a handgun in his pants waistband.

Officers searched the area but did not find the robber, according to the report. Horry County police spoke to Conway officers and learned the robber’s description fit that of a man who robbed a Food Lion store at 2290 U.S. 501 about 3 p.m. Saturday.

In that robbery, a man went into the store, presented a handgun to the clerk and took cash before he ran out and was last seen leaving in a burgundy or red pickup truck, Small said.

Anyone with information about the robberies or information about Cowart’s whereabouts, can call Conway police at 248-1790, Horry County police at 915-TIPS and Myrtle Beach police at 918-1911.

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

Myrtle Beach Sun News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service