Local News

Durham men charged in multiple armed robberies

Posted September 13

Ramonte Hershell Pettiford (left) and Jontavious Kyree Lyons (right)

— A Durham man has been arrested and charged in connection with 10 armed robberies and one attempted armed robbery since June 26, according to police.

Ramonte Hershell Pettiford, 25, was arrested Tuesday in a parking lot at the intersection of N.C. 55 and Riddle Road by members of the U.S. Marshals Joint Fugitive Task Force.

All of the robberies involved guns, and the suspects usually took cash, authorities said. No one was injured during the robberies.

Another man, Jontavious Kyree Lyons, 24, was charged with committing three armed robberies. He was arrested last month and was brought back to Durham on Tuesday.

Pettiford was being held in the Durham County Jail under a $5 million bond. Lyons was also being held there under a $2 million bond.

Pettiford and Lyons were originally wanted on charges in connection with a July 24 armed robbery at National Jewelry and Pawn at 2334 Guess Road. Three men armed with guns stole cash and jewelry from the business. The third suspect has not been identified at this time.

Durham police investigators charged Pettiford with committing the following robberies:

  • June 26 – Murphy Express, 1039 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Two men entered the store and robbed it at gunpoint of cash and cigarettes. Pettiford was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.
  • July 8 – Picasso Pawn, 5004 N.C. Highway 55. Two armed men entered the business and stole an undisclosed amount of cash. Pettiford was charged with two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.
  • July 10 – Friendly Jewelry and Pawn, 2731 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. Three men armed with guns entered the pawn shop and robbed the business of money, jewelry and electronics. Pettiford was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.
  • July 24 – National Jewelry and Pawn, 2334 Guess Road. Pettiford was charged with four counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and four counts of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.
  • August 8 – an attempted armed robbery at Mechanics & Farmers Bank at 2705 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. Two males wearing coats entered the bank around 12:45 p.m. One approached the counter and handed a teller a note demanding money and implying the use of a gun. No weapon was seen. Both men left the bank without getting any money. Pettiford was charged with attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
  • August 21 – Tienda Mi Pueblo, 1408 Avondale Drive. Two men robbed the business at gunpoint. Pettiford was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.
  • August 22 – GameStop, 3415 Westgate Drive. Two men robbed the store at gunpoint of cash and gaming systems. Pettiford was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.
  • September 1 – Boost Mobile, 2330 North Roxboro St. A man pointed a gun at employees and took cash. Pettiford was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
  • September 5 – Subway, 401 East Lakewood Ave. Two men entered the business together shortly before 6:45 p.m. One male ordered a cookie while the second male pulled out a silver revolver and pointed it at the manager while the manager was opening the cash register. The two men grabbed money from the register and ran from the business. Pettiford was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.
  • September 7 – Subway, 4711 Hope Valley Road. A man entered the business, ordered two cookies and then robbed the business at gunpoint. Pettiford was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
  • September 9 – Picasso Pawn, 5004 N.C. Highway 55. A man entered the store, pulled out a gun and demanded money. Pettiford was charged with one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Lyons was charged with committing the following robberies:

  • July 24 – National Jewelry and Pawn, 2334 Guess Road. Lyons was charged with four counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and four counts of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.
  • August 21 – Metro Express, 2500 Erwin Road. The business was robbed by a man armed with a knife. Lyons was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.
  • August 23 – Murphy Express, 1039 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. A man armed with a knife took cash and cigarettes from the business. Lyons was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.
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  • Jerry Sawyer Sep 13, 6:47 p.m.
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    The good news: The Durham police are having a weekly luncheon with locals in high crime areas. The residents can't go outside at night, but they get a lunch each week. Durham is a want to be Chicago and the police chief will not stop all the crime. So sad.