• Search suspended for bank robbery suspect in Rowan Co.

    By: Tina Terry


    ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. - Authorities suspended their search Tuesday night for a suspected bank robber who crashed off Interstate 85 in Rowan County and ran off.

    Davidson County Sheriff David Grice said 61-year-old Randy Early Asbury displayed a knife at the Newbridge Bank in Davidson County Tuesday just before noon and left the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash.

    CHOPPER 9 IMAGES: Manhunt underway after robbery, crash

    Investigators said they received information that Asbury may have been in Spencer, North Carolina and spotted him in a vehicle at a shopping center in Spencer.

    Davidson County deputies requested backup from Spencer police and while waiting for those officers to arrive, Abury drove off.

    Officials said that when Asbury noticed officers following him he tried to speed away and ended up leading police on a short pursuit. 

    Authorities said Asbury ran off the road at the dead end of Mill Run Drive and then jumped from the vehicle and ran.

    The North Carolina Highway Patrol tried to find him with their helicopter and the N.C. Department of Correction's bloodhound was also called in but Asbury was not found.

    Deputies said Asbury is considered armed and dangerous.

    Federal Bureau of Prisons officials listed Asbury as an escaped prisoner. He was let out of federal prison in West Virginia late last month and ordered to report to a halfway house in Charlotte. 

    Since he did not show up, he was classified as escapee.

    Channel 9 also found an extensive criminal history for Asbury in North Carolina dating back to 1970.

    His arrests include breaking and entering, larceny, illegal drugs and simple assault.

    Channel 9 also found an article from 2003 in Davidson County when he was caught and accused of robbing a bank in that same county. He was serving time in West Virginia for that crime.

    Family members told reporter Jenna Deery that Asbury is battling terminal cancer.

    Authorities briefly searched for Asbury early Wednesday morning but said the search had been suspended just before noon.

    Sherry Sink saw him leave the bank that day.

    "I saw him come out with a bag and the bank manager and I, we are friends, and she ran over and locked the door and I thought that was really strange,” she said. 

    She said she followed him in her car, called deputies and led them straight to him. She was shocked to learn he’d been accused of doing it again.

    "Why would he do the same thing?” she said.

    She said she hopes neighbors are attentive and bold enough to call police if they have to. 

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