LENOIR, N.C. -- Lenoir police are searching for two men in an alleged robbery and sexual assault early Friday. Police said the victims and suspects had met to try to complete a drug transaction.

The suspects were identified as 21-year-old Michael William Watkins and 19-year-old Ketoine Jamal Mitchell, police said in a news release. Each faces multiple charges, including robbery with a dangerous weapon, larceny of a motor vehicle and two counts of kidnapping.

Mitchell also is charged with second-degree sexual offense.

The victims, whose names were withheld, were described as a 23-year-old woman and 22-year-old man. The robbery, which occurred in the 1900 block of Morganton Boulevard, was reported at 2:12 a.m. Friday.

The victims told police they had met the suspects, who were described as acquaintances, at a Walmart store.

They left together in one of the victims car in search of completing a drug transaction, according to police.

But police said once in the car, the suspects displayed a handgun and forced victims to withdraw $390 from a nearby ATM. One of the victims also was sexually assaulted while in the car, police said.

Police said the victims were then taken to Hoods Creek Road where they were forced to get out of the vehicle. The suspects then took off in the victim s car a silver 2002 Toyota Camry, police said.

The victims told police their cell phones, credit cards and a wrist watch also were stolen.

Anyone with information about the suspects whereabouts is asked to call Lenoir Police at 828-757-2100 or Lenoir/Caldwell County CrimeStoppers at 828-758-8300.

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