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Police: Boredom prompts string of Durham robberies

Posted June 20, 2008

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— Police on Friday arrested two men in connection with a string of robberies and shootings around Durham over the past nine months, crimes that one of the men attributed to boredom.

Trey Preston Brown, 18, of 2002 Windgate Drive, and Scott Edward Eakes, 19, of 812 Chalk Level Road, were arrested after a search of a home turned up stolen weapons, a bullet-proof vest stolen from a Durham County deputy's patrol car and a stolen Honda motor scooter, police said.

Police Chief Jose Lopez said Brown and Eakes were affiliated with a local gang, but he said it appeared the crime spree wasn't a gang-related activity. One of the men told investigators the pair was simply bored and was looking for something to do, which Lopez said is an indication Durham needs more programs for area youths.

"I think it brings to the forefront the importance of keeping in touch with our kids and being involved in our kids lives to see what they do and who they do it with," he said.

The case remains under investigation, and more arrests were expected, Lopez said.

"Investigators are looking at additional robberies, shootings, vandalisms, motor vehicle thefts and vehicle break-ins that occurred in approximately 60 apartment complexes and neighborhoods in Durham," he said.

Brown was charged with five counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, four counts of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, eight counts of discharging a weapon into occupied property and one count each of attempted armed robbery, simple assault and injury to personal property.

Eakes was charged with four counts each of aiding and abetting robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit armed robbery and one count each of assault by pointing a gun, possession of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of stolen property.

The charges were linked to a Jan. 12 robbery on Watts Street and attempted robbery on Woodrow Street at Oval Drive, an April 27 theft on Iredell Street, May 21 robberies on Perry Street and Dacian Avenue at Watts Street, and a May 24 robbery on Ninth Street and a May 24 shooting into a McBenson Place home with eight people inside.

"Thank God the bullets didn't connect with some of these individuals," Lopez said.

Brown and Eakes were being held Friday in the Durham County Jail.

Since last fall, police had received numerous reports of robberies by two men driving a silver Toyota 4Runner sport utility vehicle, Lopez said. Tips were called into investigators about the robbers, including a partial license plate number for the SUV, he said.

That led investigators early Friday to search a home, where they recovered a rifle and pistol stolen from a Durham residence, a pistol stolen from a Louisburg residence, a sawed-off, double-barreled shotgun, the bullet-proof vest and the scooter, Lopez said.

Charges also were pending against the pair in connection with shooting at a Durham Area Transit Authority bus on March 6 near Northgate Mall, Lopez said.  More than a dozen people were on the bus at the time, but no injuries were reported.

Other law enforcement agencies also were looking at the two men as possible suspects in other unsolved crimes. Investigators said they think the pair might be linked to crimes outside Durham.

Both men have prior criminal records. Eakes has been convicted on stolen goods and weapons charges – police said he was on probation in Wake County at the time of his arrest – while Brown has been convicted on a drug charge.


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  • Lit Jun 20, 2008

    "I personally know the family of one of these boys and his parents that people continue to bash are amazing model parents."

    According to the article, both of these "boys" have prior criminal records...model parenting? I think not...

  • wow11111 Jun 20, 2008

    I personally know the family of one of these boys and his parents that people continue to bash are amazing model parents. They grew up in my church for a long time before they switched churches and these parents always put their children first. They worked hard to try and make sure their son would grow up to be the best that he could be. I dont think it is fair that you are judging these parents when you dont even know them.

  • phatbottombass Jun 20, 2008

    Why do you always ask: where are the parents, lets punish the parents as well. These two are considered adults they are 18 & 19 yrs old. They are responsible for their own actions not their parents. Lets put the blame where it belongs with these to young men. The chose to rob & shoot. Not the parents. These two come from good homes I unfortunely know them. And I hope they get prison time & not a slap on the wrist like they've gotten in the past. And I hope they catch any others that were involved. But you can't keep blaming the parents for everything. I know these boys were taught right from wrong & they were brought up right, THEY CHOSE to do this NOT the Parents.

  • yankee1 Jun 20, 2008

    More programs using MORE tax money!! Let's see, we have hundreds of pre-school programs and Johnny still can't read, welfare programs up the wazoo so people hang around downtown and do nothing, and politicians who want to be in power so bad they will spend every penny WE HAVE to get people to vote for them. Time to start arresting the parents too! Maybe we should ankle bracelet the kids AND the parents with GPS gear and monitor them to see if they are parenting. Maybe we need a testing PROGRAM to license potential parents before they are allowed to have kids!!! Now there's a program that might help!!! The politicians might even like it since they can get a fee for the license!

  • whatusay Jun 20, 2008

    What is happening to our society? When you commit crimes because you are bored you should receive the maximum. What if we allow these two bored teens to pick up trash along I-40 for the next few years, or paint homes for free, or mow lawns for people who are working, for free. But, only after they get out of prison.

  • colliedave Jun 20, 2008

    One of the men told investigators the pair was simply bored and was looking for something to do, which Lopez said is an indication Durham needs more programs for area youths.

    We do not need anymore nanny-sitting programs. More evidence of a complete lack of character. Put them to work on a garbage truck for the Summer. I am sure there are low wage jobs at the Raleigh water treament plant they can perform. Now that is Summer, have them work from sun-up to sun-down until their rears are so sore they can barely move.

  • hayco Jun 20, 2008

    I remember being very bored sometimes growing up during the long hot summers in the country. Can't remember ever thinking " let's go shoot and rob somethin".

  • iceprincess Jun 20, 2008

    Get a job!! Help your family!! Volunteer!! Bored? You really have no excuse. There is plenty for a responsible adult to do. But then, guess these fellows aren't responsible, except for the problems they have caused others.

  • sundown4789 Jun 20, 2008

    Programs?They should have been working somewhere.

  • audgepaudge Jun 20, 2008

    Unfortunately, I don't think any type of "youth program" under the sun would have looked inviting to these two individuals. These types of programs are already offered in Durham -- obviously, these two didn't bite. They probably have deadbeat parents who failed to instill any type of work ethic or morals into these individuals. So, they turned to the activities glorified by their peers -- robbery, assault, etc.

    Durham needs to attempt to fix their rotten population of careless, absentee parents before it can work on its kids. How they could do that, I have no idea.