Two people suspected in a series of payday loan robberies in Rock Hill and Lancaster were arrested Wednesday after police say a gunman walked into a Cherry Road check-cashing business, demanded money from the cash register, and bound an employee with zip ties.
Tiffany Mayhew, 32, and Christopher Carleton Washington, 36, both of Kannapolis, N.C., have both been charged with two counts each of armed robbery, criminal conspiracy and kidnapping in connection to two Rock Hill incidents, police say. The kidnapping charges were filed because the victims were tied up.
At about 12:50 p.m., police were called to the Advance Payday business on 232 S. Cherry Road after receiving a report of an armed robbery, said Rock Hill Police Executive Officer Mark Bollinger.
While officers were en route, a police detective who happened to be on Cherry Road investigating a similar robbery at a check-cashing business on North Cherry Road passed a vehicle of interest in that case: a green Honda.
The detective turned his car around and followed the green Honda on Cherry Road. Other officers on patrol helped stop the car at the Citgo gas station across from Winthrop University between Cherry Road and Oakland Avenue.
“They stopped them,” Bollinger said, and the suspects, Mayhew and Washington “gave up.”
Officers who responded to the Advance Payday robbery learned that the employee had been bound with zip ties after a gunman walked in and held him at gunpoint. The gunman ordered the employee to dump all the money from the cash register into a black backpack. The robber then left, jumping into a getaway car driven by a woman, police said.
The details match a robbery at the Quick Cash office on North Cherry Road Oct. 16. In that case, a gunman dressed in all black walked into the office, held the employee at gunpoint and demanded that he empty money from the cash register into a black backpack. The robber then bound the employee with zip ties.
Since then, police had been following leads, learning that the gunman fled the scene in a green Honda driven by a woman.
On Oct. 7, police in Lancaster investigated a similar robbery after a gunman, dressed in all black, walked into Cash USA on 947 N. Main St. and robbed the business at gunpoint. He then tied the employee, a woman, up with materials police did not disclose.
At the Citgo on Wednesday, police recovered the gunman’s weapon: a BB gun that resembles a real semiautomatic pistol, police said.