October 10, 2012
The shooting of police officer Greg Martin was not an isolated act for the man accused of his murder, who also committed other violent crimes around the same time Martin was killed, reports show.
Scott Vincent Sica, 36, of Cape Coral, Fla., was responsible for armed robberies of two banks in Tennessee as well as a Home Depot store in his hometown within a two-year span that also included Martin’s murder. Sica was taken into custody and charged with the slaying last week.
Sica had robbed the Home Depot less than two months before a deadly traffic stop just south of Jonesville by Sgt. Martin in October 1996, according to The News-Press, a newspaper in Fort Myers, Fla., which is near Cape Coral.
The Florida man allegedly shot Martin multiple times in the head at close range, with the officer found on the side of Interstate 77 by a state trooper arriving to provide backup assistance.
A web of crime had begun months before it wound to North Carolina and ensnared Martin, a three-year member of the Jonesville Police Department who previously served with the Mount Airy Police Department.
Sica spent much of the years between Martin’s murder and last week’s arrest behind bars for multiple crimes, based on the time frame reported.
In February 1996, Sica had been fired from Home Depot in Cape Coral for poor job performance and later plotted a robbery of the store with several friends, according to the newspaper, citing police records.
On Aug. 7 of that year, almost two months before Sgt. Martin was shot, Sica — wearing a rubber “old man” mask — entered the Home Depot with a handgun and ordered employees to the floor. He duct-taped their hands and eyes and stole $35,461 in cash from a vault before fleeing with an accomplice, the The News-Press reported.
Sica used stolen vehicles and license tags to evade authorities in that incident, the same tactics being employed for crimes in North Carolina at the time of Martin’s murder. In the early morning hours of Oct. 5, 1996, the Jonesville officer had spotted a suspicious man now thought to be Sica standing behind a strip mall near I-77.
The man left in a red pickup that Martin pulled over on the interstate, leading to his death.
That vehicle had been stolen from a Princeton, W.Va., dealership and its tag was issued to another vehicle. The pickup was abandoned in Elkin by the killer, who then is believed to have stolen a van from a company in Elkin which later was abandoned in Gastonia.
In 1998, Sica was arrested for the two bank robberies in Tennessee, drawing a sentence of nearly 10 years in prison and being ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution.
While incarcerated for those crimes, Sica was linked to the 1996 robbery of Home Depot and served additional time in prison, according to the Florida newspaper. He eventually was freed in 2006 and spent the next five years on supervised release.
Sica’s arrest last Wednesday night resulted from a cooperative effort by North Carolina and Florida authorities, although Jonesville Police Chief Roger Reece has declined to say how Sica was linked to Martin’s murder. Reward money of $130,000 had been offered for information leading to an arrest in the cold case, which also was highlighted on the “America’s Most Wanted” television show.
At last report, North Carolina authorities were seeking to extradite the accused killer, who is charged with first-degree murder, back to this state.
Cape Coral, where Sica lived with his parents, is a city of 154,000 residents which is located on the Gulf of Mexico.