Lowcountry man found guilty in 39 robberies

Winard Montez Eady (provided)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A North Charleston man has been convicted in a string of more than three dozen armed robberies of Chinese restaurants, check cashing and loan businesses across the Lowcountry.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Friday that 30-year-old Winard Montez Eady had been found guilty of robbery and weapons charges.

Eady and two other men were arrested last year. Investigators say the men robbed 39 businesses starting in 2009. Most of the robberies were in Charleston County, but some took place as far away as Walterboro and Georgetown.

Police said they thought Chinese restaurants were targeted because they kept a lot of cash on hand and left back doors open to let out the heat.

Two other defendants have pleaded guilty. All three will be sentenced later and face decades in prison.

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