Second suspect arrested in Fayetteville store robbery and rape


Police arrested 20-year-old Smith Paul Merinoid, of Dunn early Sunday morning. He is currently confined at the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $500,000 secured bond.

Last week, authorities arrested 23-year-old Cortese Davis, of Spring Lake at a home on Blue Street in Fayetteville. He is being held on a $1.3 million dollar secured bond.

The pair is accused of robbing the Advance Auto store on Owen Drive at Cumberland Road around 8:20 p.m. on Nov. 2.

Fayetteville police say the robbers came into the store and asked about a part for a car. As a female employee searched for the part, one the men pulled out a gun and demanded money.

The store's employees were taken to the back of the store where one of the robbers held a male employee at gunpoint while the second robber sexually assaulted the female employee.

The robbers then fled.

About an hour later, an Advance Auto Parts in Lumberton was robbed by two men who match the description of the Fayetteville robbers.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Merinord is asked to call Detective J. Benazzi at (910) 257-3668 or Sergeant G. Womble at (910) 916-2764.  Crimestoppers information can also be submitted by calling (910) 483-TIPS (8477) or by visiting and completing the anonymous online tip sheet.

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