After a brief stand-off Monday at a Burton mobile home park, Beaufort County sheriff's deputies arrested a 38-year-old New York City man they say posed as a police officer and committed three armed robberies Sunday in Burton.
Stephen Hamrick, also known to deputies as David Cross, was charged Monday with robbing two men as they walked down Joe Frazier Road on Sunday morning and later robbing two people at a cookout in Green Acres.
Two Hispanicmen told deputies they were walking down Joe Frazier Road in Burton at about 9:20 a.m. when a beige van stopped in front of them. Investigators say the driver got out, wearing a blue law enforcement uniform and a New York Yankees hat, pulled a revolver on the two men, demanded their wallets, and said he needed to "make sure they were legal."
The report said that when one of the men questioned whether he was really a police officer and said he was going to call 911, the robber forced them to the ground at gunpoint, stole their wallets and drove off. Neither man was injured in the attack, but the thief got away with $400 in cash, the report said.
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At about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, investigators say a 23-year-old Burton man was cooking out with some friends at a home in Green Acres when the same man showed up, pulled a gun on him and told him to put his hands up. The report said the man pretending to be an officer put the revolver to the man's head and forced him inside the home, before making off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Investigators say Hamrick also robbed a 55-year-old man who was the host of the cookout and was outside while his friend was being robbed. Investigators say that when he saw the robber's van parked in the alley near his home, he went to see if anyone was inside. As he approached the van, he was stopped by Hamrick, who again said he was a police officer, the report said. The man said Hamrick brandished a handgun and searched him, taking $400 in cash as well as a .22-caliber rifle the victim had with him.
On Monday, the Sheriff's Office received word that Hamrick was holed up inside a mobile home at Dixie Rental Mobile Home Park on County Shed Road in Burton. After refusing to come out, the sheriff's SWAT Team was dispatched. Hamrick surrendered to deputies soon after, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Hamrick probably will face additional charges, includingimpersonating a police officer, according to a Sheriff's Office news release. He was being held Monday at the Beaufort County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.
He was arrested as David Cross on April 1 for driving without a license, according to the county's jail log.