Man convicted in Winston-Salem robbery caught 40 years later

WATERLOO, Iowa — A man convicted of robbing a Winston-Salem convenience store has been caught after officials said he escaped from prison 40 years ago.

The Lake Wylie Pilot reported that 68-year-old Ronald Carnes is at the Black Hawk County Jail in Iowa under $10,000 bond, awaiting extradition to North Carolina.

Carnes was sentenced in November 1970 to the Mecklenburg Correctional Center in Huntersville for robbing the Lil General convenience store in Winston-Salem.

The suspect reportedly served three years in prison and then escaped. He had been projected to be released in 1983.

Until Monday, his whereabouts had been a mystery. He reportedly spent time in Seattle before moving into a neighborhood in Waterloo, Iowa last summer.

A neighbor living across the street described Carnes as an older man living alone who kept to himself and never bothered anybody.

The paper reported that the suspect obtained an Iowa car title using an alias last year. In March, he allegedly used a bogus driver’s license under another name.

Suspicions arose about Carnes’ driver’s license due to the Iowa Department of Transportation’s biometric facial recognition program.

Authorities said facial-recognition software led them to where Carnes was living after his driver’s license picture matched an already existing template in the state’s system. 

Read full story: The Lake Wylie Pilot


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