A plan to rob a Mooresville gas station unraveled this week after deputies realized the robber was not only a man dressed as a woman, but is the son of the store clerk, according to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.
However, it’s an accidental fire that broke the case open.
Investigators say the suspect wore a dress and wig then tried to burn the outfit just outside the store, but the blaze grew until the fire department had to be called.
Three people – including the father and son – have been charged in the robbery, which was carried out Monday afternoon at the Mystik gas station on Charlotte Highway in Mooresville.
Investigators say the fire and the robbery investigation happened simultaneously.
Deputies were called to the scene to investigate a report that someone had taken cash from the register at the Mystik while the clerk was pricing merchandise in the cooler.
However, surveillance video revealed the clerk had moved away from the counter to allow the suspect – wearing a woman’s dress and a wig – to have easier access to the register, said Sheriff Darren Campbell.
Detectives say that man was Rex Carlo Farmer of China Grove, who is the son of store clerk Rex Allen Farmer. A third suspect, the girlfriend of Rex Carlo Farmer, was also in on the scheme, officials say.
“Statements revealed Rex Allen Farmer showed his son how he could open the register before Rex Carlo Farmer went out to put on a black dress and a large dark wig to hide his true identity,” said Campbell. “Once Rex Carlo Farmer stole the cash from the register, he ran outside and set his wig and dress on fire next to the business to destroy any evidence.”
The fire spread to a nearby privacy fence, requiring the fire department to come put it out, officials said.
Rex Carlo Farmer and girlfriend Kayla Nicole Price were later arrested near their home in Rowan County, and were in possession of some of the cash stolen from the business, officials said.
Rex Carlo Farmer, 42, was charged with misdemeanor larceny, conspiring to commit embezzlement by employee, burning of personal property, and felony obstruction of justice. He is being held on a $25,000 secured bond, officials said.
Store clerk Rex Allen Farmer, 62, was charged with embezzlement by employee and conspiring to commit embezzlement by employee, and is being held under a $10,000 secured bond.
Kayla Nicole Price, 26, was charged with misdemeanor larceny and conspiring to commit embezzlement by employee and is being held under a $5,000 secured bond.