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Man police say forced family to shop at Target facing additional charges

Posted June 21

— A man accused of forcing a family to withdraw money at an ATM early Tuesday and then shop for him at Target is facing more charges in an unrelated case reported shortly before.

Rollin Anthony Owens Jr., 29, was arrested Tuesday morning in the parking lot of a Target on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard after an employee called 911.

Durham police said Wednesday that they've filed additional charges against Owens in connection with an incident reported on Morehead Avenue.

According to investigators, Owens asked a man for money at around 6:45 a.m. and when he said no, Owens allegedly grabbed the man's coffee cup and pointed a gun and knife at him. The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Rollin Owens, Durham robbery spree

According to police, Owens then knocked on the door of a home in the West End neighborhood at about 7 a.m. Tuesday and asked for money. He then forced a man, a woman and two children from the home into their car at gunpoint.

He then forced the man to make stops at an ATM to withdraw money and at a convenience store before the group arrived at the Target. Inside, Owens forced the family to select clothes and gift cards.

The man was able to move away from the scene and urge an employee to call for help. The employee's 911 call reveal the employee urged police to get their quickly, as the suspect had a weapon.

"Get here soon, please," the employee said in the call. "He's holding up people outside in our parking lot."

An officer happened to be in the parking lot at the time of the call to respond immediately.

Owens faces charges that link him to several robberies and kidnappings over the past four days.

In a court hearing Wednesday morning, the judge decided to keep Owens' bond the same, at just over $1 million. The state asked for $2 million, but the judge stated that neither was an amount that Owens could make.

Owens is charged with multiple counts of second-degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon, second-degree kidnapping, assault inflicting serious injury and assault by pointing a gun in connection with the following incidents:

  • June 17- Police said Owens approached a man with his young children at about 10:45 a.m. in Burch Avenue Park and asked for money. Owens then put a gun to the man’s head as he put his children in the car and forced him to drive to an ATM to withdraw money and then drive to a convenience store before fleeing with $500 on Estes Street.
  • June 18- Police said Owens approached a man walking on Morgan Street at about 2:30 a.m. and demanded money. When the man said he had no money, Owens put a gun to his stomach and fled. Owens approached the man again a short time later and again pointed the gun and demanded money but fled without cash.
  • June 18- Police said Owens approached two brothers in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Duke University Road at about 11:15 p.m. and demanded money at gunpoint. The younger brother struggled with Owens, who hit the man on the head and face with his gun. Police said Owens forced the younger brother into the trunk of a vehicle which he forced the older brother to drive to an ATM and convenience store to buy cigarettes before fleeing with $400. The brother was treated for cuts to his face and a possible concussion.
  • June 20- The suspect walked up to a man and asked him for money around 6:45 a.m. on Morehead Avenue. When the victim refused to give him cash, Owens grabbed his cup of coffee and pointed a gun and knife at him. He then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash and unsuccessfully tried to steal the victim's car.
  • June 20- Authorities say Owens knocked on the door of a home in the West End neighborhood at about 7 a.m. Tuesday and asked for money. He then forced a man, a woman and two children from the home into their car at gunpoint. He then forced them to make stops at an ATM to withdraw money before going to Target. Owens forced the family to select clothes and gift cards before the man was able to signal for en employee help.

Owens also faces prior charges of felony larceny, breaking and entering, obtaining property by false pretense and trespassing.

"At first I saw a cell phone on the ground, and I thought, oh that's weird, someone lost their cell phone," said a woman, who witnessed an incident on June 18. "And then I saw crushed glasses, like they had been smashed. And then i saw blood on the ground, so then I kind of freaked out."

"It was really spooky."

2 Comments

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  • Jj Parker Jun 22, 5:34 a.m.
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    Prison for life. Nothing more. Nothing less. He is useless and dangerous.

  • Brenda Love Jun 21, 4:15 p.m.
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    That's enough charges to put him UNDER the jail, not just IN jail!