Arrest made, more expected in Surfside Beach clown mask armed robbery

A 58-year-old Murrells Inlet man was arrested Wednesday in connection with a November armed robbery incident in Surfside Beach, involving two suspects - one of whom was wearing a “clown-type” mask, a police report says.

Richard Ray is charged with attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and conspiracy to commit kidnapping, according to a release from Surfside Beach police.

Kenneth Hofmann, chief of police with Surfside Beach police, said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected. He stressed the case is a priority to the department.


The incident happened on November 6 at Surfside Beach Pharmacy at 320 U.S. 17 North, and involved two masked suspects, one wearing a “clown-type Halloween” mask, the report states.

“One of the suspects was carrying materials believed to be intended to restrain the employees,” a release from Hofmann said.

One of the men ran around the store counter, pointing a gun. The pharmacy owner “reacted quickly by discharging a firearm at one of the suspects in self-defense,” Hofmann stated in the release.

Just after the incident, police reviewed camera footage and said it looked like the suspects jumped into a two-door Chevrolet truck, the incident report says.

- Surfside Beach Police Department Facebook page

Ray remained jailed at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center were his bond had not been set as of Thursday afternoon, jail records showed.

“As we continue to battle rising area violent crime and drug-related crime, we promise our residents that we stand ready to bring those who threaten the safety of this community to justice,” said Hofmann in the release.