Plymouth man gets nearly 11 years for robbing EC checking-cashing biz


William Edward White, 34, of Plymouth, the robbery suspect shown in this grainy surveillance camera footage, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III on Thursday to 129 months in prison for the armed robbery of Friendly Check Cashing office in Elizabeth City on October 26, 2016.


From staff reports

Thursday, August 9, 2018

RALEIGH — A Plymouth man has been sentenced to nearly 11 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to the armed robbery of an Elizabeth City check-cashing business nearly two years ago.

William Edward White, 34, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III on Thursday to 129 months in prison for the robbery of Friendly Check Cashing  in October 2016, a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon states.

White, who pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence on April 19, was also sentenced to five years of supervised release following completion of his active prison term, the release states. 

According to Higdon, White waited outside the Friendly Check Cashing office in the 900 block of West Ehringhaus Street the morning of Oct. 25, 2016. When an office employee arrived and entered through a rear door, White pushed through the door behind her and pointed a handgun at the worker.

White then forced the employee into the office’s main room where the safe is kept and threatened to shoot her if she didn’t open the safe quickly, the press release states. While the employee was attempting to open the safe, White hit her on the back of her head and on her forearm. Once the safe was open, White grabbed $45,500 in cash, the release states.

Before leaving, however, he bound the employee with duct tape, tearing the tape from the roll with his teeth, Higdon’s office said. Detectives were later able to identify White as the robbery suspect because his DNA matched that of DNA removed from the torn duct tape, according to the press release. 

Friendly Check Cashing later offered a $5,000 reward, on top of a $2,000 reward offered by the local Crime Line group, for help apprehending a robbery suspect.

White later admitted his involvement in the robbery, Higdon’s office said.

Besides the Elizabeth City Police Department, the robbery was also investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, according to the press release.