Couple got engaged at Walmart hours after staging robbery, police say

Clerk, fiance charged after planning armed robbery at Burke County store

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. — Authorities said a clerk and her fiance have been charged after they planned and carried out an armed robbery at the Morganton convenience store where the woman worked.

Surveillance video shows a man armed with an ornamental sword robbing Big Daddy's Minit Mart on Carbon City Road Monday night.

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The store's clerk, Callie Carswell, appeared to be distraught as she called 911, even though investigators said they believe the sword-wielding robber was Carswell's fiance, Clarence Moore.

Officials said Moore was in the store earlier wearing the same pants seen on the robber. They also checked his social media accounts and spotted him wearing the same glasses and bandana seen in the surveillance video.

In the video, Carswell sobbed as she handed money over from the register and safe to the robber.

“I’m trying,” Carswell told the robber through tears in the surveillance video. “I’m trying. Please, I have kids.”

When the robber left the store, Carswell called 911.

(Carswell and Moore)

Channel 9's Dave Faherty was there as Carswell was escorted into the Burke County magistrate's office, where she threatened reporters.

“I will assault you,” Carswell said.

She went on to deny her involvement in the robbery.

"Watch the video ... I wasn’t involved,” she said.

Public safety officers said there were inconsistencies with Carswell's story and Moore later confessed to the crime.

"They definitely planned it out together. It’s very unusual but it does happen,” said Lt. Josiah Brown with Morganton Public Safety.

Investigators said they have recovered some of the money.

When police executed a search warrant on Moore’s vehicle, they found money from the store and a hand-written list of materials needed to conduct the robbery, according to authorities. At Moore’s and Carswell’s house, police said they found the weapon and clothing worn by Moore during the robbery.

Carswell allowed officers to search her cellphone, where they found videos of her and Moore getting engaged at Walmart early Tuesday morning after the robbery, police said. Receipts seized showed the engagement rings were purchased at Walmart.

Carswell has been charged with conspiracy for robbery with a dangerous weapon, false report to police and misuse of a 911 system.

Moore was charged with conspiracy for robbery with a dangerous weapon and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Carswell and Moore both received $50,000 secured bonds and had court dates set for Nov. 26. Additional charges are pending against them both.

The Morganton News Herald contributed to this story.