Robber Who Targeted Belk Stores Now Behind Bars

A man sentenced on robbery with a dangerous weapon and drug charges reacted to the verdict by shouting expletives at the judge.

Joe Tyson Jr., of Grifton, was sentenced Wednesday in Washington to 13 to more than 16 years behind bars.

Officials say Tyson was arrested in June 2009 after trying to steal from the Belk's store in Washington, then slashing at store staff with a razor blade on a utility knife when they tried to detain him until police arrived. Tyson took off but was later found with the knife and heroin.

Tyson, who is 54, has a long criminal history of larceny, shoplifting and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Before the Beaufort County crime, his record stretching back to 1988 included convictions in Lenoir and Pitt counties.

Tyson has been locked up since his 2009 arrest.

According to District Attorney Seth Edwards, "Tyson had a history to stealing from Belks and assaulting employees all over North Carolina."

“The fast action by Belk management and the quick response of the Washington Police Department was very important to the apprehension and prosecution," reports Edwards.

According to the D.A.'s office, "following the entering of the sentences Tyson expressed his disdain and displeasure at the results of the jury verdict and sentence rendered by repeatedly yelling expletives at Judge Godwin."

Superior Court Judge Walter Godwin presided over the case.

Edwards also commended Michael Holloman, the Assistant District Attorney who prosecuted Tyson, as well as Detective Dean Watson and Officers Steve Waters, Christopher Hobbs and Donald Clodfelter of the Washington Police Department for their efforts in the investigation and prosecution.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by TryLove on Feb 27, 2011 at 09:44 PM
    I don't care is this man was black or white! the fact is a crime is a crime! and got what he deserved! for those of you that wish to make everything a black or white thing! I wish you can open your hearts and let GOD in because you need him just like this man does. Is one sin greater than another?
  • by Married (not single) white female Location: Washington N.C. on Feb 25, 2011 at 09:49 AM
    To: Anonymous(Feb.24@12:41pm)and Brandon, now I see it with my own baby blue eyes, RACISCM DOES EXIST!!!! And yes I am married to a "white" male!!! Just comment on the topic itself.why does it has to be about black or white?? .........where does this end? And to Shy:I agree with you 100%
  • by TO: Darren KDH on Feb 24, 2011 at 04:49 PM
    Is that "hogwash" like the troubles they are having in Elizabeth City. I wash veggies before cooking, but never wash my bacon. Does it cut down on cholesterol?
  • by Frank Sinatra Location: Heaven on Feb 24, 2011 at 03:51 PM
    Sorry you feel that higher prices justify a crime. To understand your logic you are saying I can rob someone because Obama has caused medical insurance to sky rocket. You sound like you are this close to join the Tea Party.
  • by Lavons sister on Feb 24, 2011 at 02:53 PM
    Oh that Lavon! He sooo Craazy!
  • by LEO Fiance' Location: ENC on Feb 24, 2011 at 01:11 PM
    Great Job, Washington Police Department, Beaufort County District Attorney's Office and Judge Godwin!!! Thank you for gettina another dangerous criminal off of our streets. Well done!
  • by Darren Location: Kill DevilHills on Feb 24, 2011 at 12:59 PM
    This man should rot in jail for the rest of his life and toss that key away. Lavon, just from the hogwash you mentioned, you should be put in jail with the key tossed as well.
  • by Cherry Point Commander? on Feb 24, 2011 at 12:38 PM
    Didn't the guy that stole the ink cartridges and STP from Wal-Mart do the same thing? Pulled out a box knife and cut someone, then he ran? And they caught him with heroin, too? Or am I mistaken?...What about his long criminal record?
  • by Amused on Feb 24, 2011 at 12:07 PM
    @Lavon, how is it George Bush's fault that this guy has had a criminal record for more than 20 years? Bush only served 8 years. And George Bush didn't make the gas prices high, you're lovely democratic congress did. You obviously know nothing about law or politics. I love how ignorant people are these days.
  • by shy Location: robersonville on Feb 24, 2011 at 11:49 AM
    lock him up and throw away the key. he's a danger to himself as well as everyone else. we don't need him running free.
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