Durham police on Friday asked for the public’s help in their efforts to thwart a rash of armed robberies targeting Hispanic residents, including one man who was shot.
Police investigators say the crimes have all happened outdoors, with most taking place in apartment complex parking lots.
The officers are searching for two armed suspects who have robbed the victims of cash, credit cards, and cell phones.
“In most cases, the suspects assaulted the victims by striking them in the head with the butt of the gun and often made them lie on the ground,” Michael said.
Witnesses told the police that after one of the robberies, the suspects fled in a black or dark-colored SUV, possibly a Ford Expedition.
In several instances, the suspects committed multiple robberies on the same day in places all over the city.
Investigators are hoping that members of the public can step forward with information about the following cases, all of which targeted Hispanics:
—March 3 at 9:10 a.m. on the 1400 block of Newcastle Road, police say two men and a female were sitting in a car in a parking lot when two armed men wearing all black approached them and took their money and cellphones.
—March 5 at 8:49 p.m. on the 1300 block of Morreene Road, investigators say a male victim was in the parking lot when two men wearing all black came up behind him and hit him in the head with a gun. They took his AirPods and smashed his cellphone.
—Less than an hour later at 9:10 p.m. on the 2900 block of Chapel Hill Road, two men were in a parking lot when two male suspects wearing all black approached them. The suspects hit one victim on the head with a gun, and both victims were robbed of cash.
—About twelve minutes later at 9:22 p.m. on the 4200 block of Garrett Road, two men approached a young woman in a parking lot and demanded money. When she told them she had no money, one suspect hit her in the nose with a gun. The suspects then hit a young male in the head with a gun, took his cellphone and debit card, and fled.
—March 7 at 10:53 a.m. on the 1000 block of Spruce Street, a woman was walking alone when a man approached her from behind, pushed her down, and took her purse and cellphone.
—March 8 at 7:12 p.m. on the 4200 block of Garrett Road, police say two men armed with guns approached another man in an apartment complex, pushed him to the ground, and took his wallet and cellphone. In that instance, witnesses say the suspects left the area in a black Ford Expedition driven by another person.
—Eighteen minutes later at 7:30 p.m. on the 100 block of West Channing Avenue, investigators say two men armed with a firearm approached a man in a parking lot and threw him to the ground. The suspects took money from the victim’s wallet and fled.
—March 8 at 8:50 p.m. on the 2900 block of Holloway Street, police say a man was getting off a bus when he was approached by a male and a female. The woman pointed a gun at the victim while her accomplice took the victim’s money, wallet, keys, and phone. The male then pushed the victim down and fled.
—March 11 around midnight on the 4200 block of Garrett Road, investigators say three males in a parking lot were approached by an armed man who demanded money. The suspect took one victim’s wallet.
—Nearly twelve hours later at 11:49 p.m. on the 1200 block of Hearthside Street, police say three people standing in a driveway were approached by an armed man who demanded their wallets. During the confrontation, police say the suspect hit one victim in the face and hit a second victim in the back of the head with a gun. The third victim was shot in the abdomen. The suspect stole the wallets of all three victims.
The police are urging anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200.
CrimeStoppers pays a cash reward for information leading to arrests in felony cases, and callers do not have to identify themselves.
The Durham Police Department would like to share the following personal safety tips:
—Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Call 911 immediately if you see any suspicious activity or witness a crime.
—Have your keys ready when approaching your apartment or vehicle.
—Do not carry large amounts of money or jewelry.
—Do not walk alone in the dark. Dark areas give robbers the advantage to commit crime.
—If someone is following you, do not drive directly to your neighborhood. Instead, drive to a well-lit area.
—When walking, avoid strangers or groups of strangers.
—Park your vehicle in well-lit areas.
—Do not open your home door to strangers. Call 911 immediately.
—Do not resist if you are being robbed. Always cooperate with the robber. Your life is more important than items of material value.
—Obtain a good description of the suspect so you can report it to the police.
Follow Durham Staff Writer Thomasi McDonald on Twitter or send an email to email@example.com.
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