BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Almost everyone has a favorite neighborhood grocery store that is familiar to them, but one grocery store in Brunswick County appears to be familiar to robbers as well. The store's been robbed so much lately that the owner might be ready to get out of the family business altogether.
Woody's Grocery Store has been a staple in the Shallotte community since 1932. Over the years, the business has been robbed so many times that the owner of the store is thinking about closing his doors because he no longer feels safe.
Woody Fulford, 81, works 12 hours a day and six days a week at his store. He's been making customers smile ever since he inherited the store from his father more than 60 years ago.
"My Daddy started it and borrowed $25 from his Grandma to stock the store," said Fulford. "He told me that the first Coca Cola he bought was 60 cents for a crate."
These days, prices are a lot higher and so is the crime rate.
"It's really scary now," said Fulford.
Woody has enough police reports to write a book. Since he took over the store back in 1952, Woody says he's been robbed more than 15 times! He remembers the one time when he was beaten up and robbed at gunpoint.
"He pulled a gun on me, and if he did that to start with he wouldn't have to beat me up," said Fulford.
Fulford, now legally blind, is thinking about calling it quits, especially after he was hit again just one month ago.
"After this break in, it convinced me that I might need to quit," said Fulford. "I hear so much on the news about shootings and killings and it gets me really nervous. I hate to give it up after all these years. My doctor said this store is the only thing keeping me going."
Fulford has beefed up the security in his store by adding surveillance cameras. Friends and family also provide support by helping Woody when he closes the shop to head home every evening.
A spokesperson for the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office says they are actively investigating this case. They have a few leads on some suspects, but no charges have been filed yet.
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322 Shipyard Boulevard