NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The manhunt in North Myrtle Beach is over after three robbery suspects have been caught and taken to North Myrtle Beach detention Center, according to Lt. Michael Swarthout with North Myrtle Beach Police.
North Myrtle Beach Spokesperson Pat Dowling confirms that Justin Pressley, 25, of Little River, Lance Hardiman, 24, of Longs and Rodrick Berklery, 25, of Little River were arrested in connection to the robbery, but not official charges have been filed at the moment.
NMB police say the suspects fired shots at officers during a police chase after robbing a bank.
The robbers in the area of Water Tower Road Wednesday morning, according to the city’s spokesperson.
Dowling confirms a bank robbery occurred at South State Bank, located at 606 Main Street, Wednesday, but could not give an exact time the crime happened. Dowling says officers are searching for three suspects after they fled the bank in a car heading south on Hwy 17.
The robbers continued through the area of Barefoot Landing where their car was stop-sticked somewhere in the vicinity of Water Tower Road, Dowling adds. The suspects then fled into the woods, and the area of Water Tower Road from Hwy 90 to Links Drive is closed due to police activity.
One of the suspects was captured around 1:30 p.m. Dowling confirmed that the suspects were armed with what appeared to be assault rifles.Lt. MIchael Swarthout says the second suspect was taken into custody without incident Wednesday night, and was transported to the detention center.
Dowling says the suspects have fired shots at the officers during the pursuit, but officers have not returned fire. Other agencies are being called in to assist with the search for the robbers in the woods.
Riverside Elementary, located at 1283 Hwy 57 S, is on lock down, according to school principal Vicki Underwood, as police search for the robbers.
On its Facebook page, Horry County Schools issued this statement:
For our North Myrtle Beach K-5 school families:
In an abundance of caution, Riverside Elementary, Waterway Elementary, and North Myrtle Beach Middle are currently restricting students from outside activities due to a bank robbery that happened earlier this morning and ongoing efforts by police officers to locate the suspects. Students are safe, supervised and are continuing with their daily routines.
As always, if you are visiting our schools, you will be asked to buzz-in at the front entrance. We anticipate no interruptions with the dismissal of school.”