• 4 suspects in custody after pregnant clerk duct-taped, zip-tied during robbery

    By: Dave Faherty


    GRANITE FALLS, N.C. - Officials said a pregnant clerk was robbed at gunpoint and tied up with duct tape and zip ties during a robbery at a Granite Falls convenience store.

    One person carrying a handgun and wearing a Halloween mask, and two others robbed the Tobacco-To-Go convenience store at 2:05 a.m. Oct. 30, police said.

    Two of the four suspects were brought to the Caldwell County jail one week after the incident.

    Adrienne Wilson and Dennis Welch were arrested in Charlotte.



    Authorities apprehended Jake and Taylor Patrie the following day.

    Surveillance video shows one of the gunmen point the weapon at the clerk and tie her up. She was not hurt.

    Authorities posted surveillance photos to social media and they got public feedback.

    The getaway car was spotted at the Motel 6 on Sugar Creek Road.

    “The social media aspect of it was a big help to us in identifying the folks in the video,” Granite Falls police Chief Chris Jenkins said.

    The clerk said the suspect only said a few words.

    "Just 'freeze' and 'put your hands behind your back,'” Rebekah Ruetenik said.

    Ruetenik said she did what she was told but was thinking about her daughter and her unborn child. She is nearly three months pregnant.


    "I just wanted to be home with my daughter. Make sure I came home for my daughter and my baby was OK,” Ruetenik said.

    At the store on Oct. 31, coworkers and customers were in disbelief over what happened. 

    "These people work hard for their money. You don't need to be trying to take something from somebody else that's not yours,” customer Mike Harris said.

    "It's scary. Today's society don't care. It's drugs, it's alcohol, they don't care,” customer Brigetta Ledford said.

    Channel 9 saw where the suspects rifled through the cash register and stole several cartons of Marlboro cigarettes.

    Ruetenik said she was left in a bathroom until a customer found her. She said the robbery won't stop her from working.

    "I still have to pay my bills. I still have to work. I still have to do what I have to do,” she said.

    If you have any information, call the Granite Falls Police Department at 828-396-3358.

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