Gun undetected as robbery suspect taken to N.C. jail

Sarah Ovaska, Staff Writer

Copyright 2006 The News and Observer 

RALEIGH -- Jailers found a gun on a robbery suspect early Monday morning at the Wake County jail, hours after Raleigh police arrested and questioned the man.

Robert Lee Hodge, 20, of 2831 Club Plaza Road was charged Monday with having a firearm in a detention facility, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number, according to arrest warrants.

He also faces additional charges of aiding and abetting an armed robbery and possession of stolen property in connection with a robbery Sunday night. A 24-year-old woman said she was robbed of her purse and recent purchases in the parking of of Wal-Mart, 6600 Glenwood Ave., said Jim Sughrue, spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department.

Hodge and two other men were stopped shortly after the 7:30 p.m. robbery when police found them in a car that matched descriptions given by witnesses to the robbery.

Hodge was then handcuffed and taken to police headquarters in downtown Raleigh for questioning, Sughrue said.

He spent several hours there before being taken to the jail about 1 a.m. Monday and charged in connection with the Sunday night robbery, Sughrue said.

The gun was discovered when jailers conducted a routine search before placing Hodge into a cell, said Phyllis Stephens, spokeswoman for the Wake County Sheriff's Office.

The incident alarmed police officials.

"Obviously something went wrong," Sughrue said.

The Raleigh Police Department is conducting an internal investigation to see how the gun went undetected, Sughrue said. 
February 21, 2006

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