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3 charged in Wal-Mart robbery

YORK -- A North Carolina man and two women were in jail Saturday after police said they stole more than $2,000 worth of Wal-Mart merchandise, fought off employees with a pair of scissors and rammed a parked SUV twice as three children and their parents sat inside.

Raymond Carl Brown, 50, of Dallas, N.C., was charged Friday night with damage to property of more than $1,000, criminal conspiracy, armed robbery and five counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, said Sgt. Jeff Bramlet of the York Police Department.

Christina Nichole Ball, 24, of Bessemer City, N.C., was charged with six counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, York police Sgt. Gary Messer said. Ball also was charged with criminal conspiracy, which can carry up to a five-year prison sentence, Messer said.

Stephanie Leigh McCray, 35, also of Dallas, was charged with armed robbery and criminal conspiracy, Messer said.

Around 8:30 p.m. Friday, Brown and McCray were seen taking razors and concealing them in a large black purse at the Wal-Mart at 970 E. Liberty St. in York.

"They go in to shoplift," Messer said. "Employees try to stop them."

The pair took multiple items, including six roofing hammers, 48 boxes of Prilosec, a bottle of Relacore and a bag of chicken wings, according to police reports. Then, they tried to leave the store through the caged-in garden center, arrest warrants show. Their departure was hampered by three employees until Brown pulled out a pair of scissors the employees initially thought was a knife.

"Don't get near me, or I'll cut you," an arrest warrants notes Brown told the employees.

Meanwhile, McCray fled to a dark blue Toyota Camry, officials said.

"Once the employees saw the scissors, they backed off, and Brown ran to the car," Messer said.

Nearby, a Fort Mill couple and their children watched the foot chase and hatched a plan. They blocked the car with their SUV, but Ball rammed the SUV with the Camry, Messer said.

The female passenger in the SUV jumped out and exclaimed that Bell had hit the SUV in which sat two 1-year-olds, a 5-year-old and a 15-year-old, York police Cpl. Matt Boykin said.

"They jumped back in the car and rammed the SUV again and backed into a Ford pickup truck," said Boykin, who noted Ball got out of the car and Brown took over driving.

Brown made his way to Liberty Street toward historic downtown York as the Fort Mill family followed. Minutes later the police intercepted the Camry, Boykin said.

Police recovered the stolen merchandise, which totaled $2,102. They also seized an undisclosed amount of merchandise from a neighboring Lowe's Home Improvement store, police said.

A bond hearing is scheduled this morning for Ball, Brown and McCray. They remained in custody Saturday at the York County Detention Center.

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