Durham man charged in string of robberies
Posted January 2, 2014
Updated January 3, 2014
Durham, N.C. — A Durham man already wanted on several robbery charges was arrested Thursday morning after he tried to rob a woman downtown, police said.
The woman was getting into her car in the 300 block of Foster Street when a man jumped into the passenger seat, punched her twice in the face, grabbed her purse and fled, police said. The woman screamed and honked her horn several times, prompting bystanders to call 911 and chase the thief.
The thief dropped the purse and escaped, but police K-9 officers and their dogs tracked him to the area of Fernway Avenue and Liggett Street.
Brandon Russell, 41, no known address, also was charged in the following crimes:
- A Dec. 14 robbery of a Dollar General at 2000 Chapel Hill Road. A man grabbed money from the cash register and punched the clerk in the face.
- A Dec. 16 robbery of the same Dollar General. A man approached the register, displayed what appeared to be the butt of a gun in his waistband and grabbed money from the cash register.
- A Dec. 22 robbery of Cruizers, at 3446 Hillsborough Road
- A Dec. 23 robbery of Kroger, at 1802 N. Pointe Drive
- A Dec. 23 robbery of Rite Aid, at 1505 Broad St.
- A Dec. 28 robbery outside a BP convenience store at 2685 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. A woman was getting in her car when a man grabbed her purse and ran.
- A Dec. 28 robbery of a Kangaroo Express at 3223 N.C. Highway 55. A man threatened the clerk and grabbed the cash register.
- A Dec. 29 robbery of the BP convenience store on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard. A man grabbed cash from the register.
- A Dec. 31 robbery of Cruizers, at 3446 Hillsborough Road. A man threatened to shoot a clerk and grabbed money from the register before fleeing.
- A Jan. 1 robbery of Sears at Northgate Mall
Police said the robber left his wallet with his name and photo identification in it on the counter during the Cruizers holdup, leading investigators to Russell.
Russell faces multiple counts of common-law robbery, robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count each of assault inflicting serious injury, communicating threats, damage to property and possession of drug paraphernalia in the string of robberies. His bond was set at $5.5 million.