Bellefonte police: Suspects in violent, drug-related robbery found in North Carolina

mcarroll@centredaily.comSeptember 4, 2013 

Two area men wanted in connection with a violent armed robbery last week in Bellefonte were caught Wednesday in North Carolina, authorities said.

Bellefonte police said Garrett Freeman and Cameron Woodring were arrested without incident at about 3 p.m. by sheriff’s deputies in Johnson County, N.C., south of Raleigh.

Police said Freeman, of Millheim, and Woodring, of Bellefonte, are suspects in a “home-invasion-style burglary” in the early morning hours of Aug. 26 at a home on East Bishop Street. The men allegedly used firearms to assault two people, smashing one in the face with the butt of a shotgun.

Felony charges of robbery and burglary have been filed against the men in Centre County, according to court dockets.

The robbery appears to have been drug-related, police wrote in charging documents.

Freeman and Woodring are accused of taking $10,000 in cash and roughly a pound of marijuana from a safe in the residence.

They later allegedly ditched their weapons, a shotgun and rifle, at a family member’s home and took off. The shotgun was found to have been stolen in August from a home on East Main Street in Millheim, police said.

State police stopped Freeman on Sunday during an unrelated traffic stop and he provided a Millheim address. Just two days later, investigators were serving a search warrant at the home and at another in Bellefonte.

Investigators said they found evidence in the homes Tuesday linking the men to the robbery.

Police here provided authorities in North Carolina with information that led them to a home where Freeman and Woodring were staying.

One of the victims of the Bellefonte robbery was able to identify Freeman partly by his “unique southern accent” police wrote in charging documents.

After storming into the home, Freeman is alleged to have said “word on the street is there’s an (expletive)-load of bud and cash here. I’m a desperate man and we have shotguns, a pistol and knuckle-dusters,” investigators said.

Police said Freeman and Woodring arrived at the home sometime between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Aug. 26. One of the suspects, later identified as Freeman, knocked on the front door while dressed as law enforcement, wearing a fake badge and a shirt emblazoned with the word “police.”

A resident opened the door and was immediately struck in the face with the butt of a rifle. Police said two men were tied up while Freeman and Woodring loaded the cash and suspected marijuana. The pair freed the residents before leaving, but threatened them not to move, police said.

Attorneys for Freeman and Woodring were not listed on court documents.

Bellefonte police were not available to comment on when the men may face extradition back to Pennsylvania to answer to the charges.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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