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Raleigh police: Violence escalating in string of robberies

Posted November 11, 2008

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— Police believe a string of violent armed robberies and attempted robberies at stores and restaurants in the northeast part of Raleigh could be linked, and officials say they worry that the violence might escalate.

The six robberies and two attempted robberies – five of which have occurred on Capital Boulevard – date from Sept. 13 to Nov. 4:

  • Family Dollar, 4654 Capital Blvd., 8:25 p.m., Sept. 13 (robbery)
  • Handee Hugo, 5002 Capital Blvd., 1:48 a.m., Sept. 24 (robbery)
  • Your House restaurant, 5110 Capital Blvd., 4:54 a.m., Oct. 11 (robbery)
  • McDonald's, 5016 Spring Forest Road, 11:05 p.m., Oct. 16 (attempted robbery)
  • Wendy's, 4750 Capital Blvd., 1:01 a.m., Oct. 17 (robbery)
  • Spinx Exxon, 4301 New Bern Ave., 10:47 p.m., Oct. 30 (attempted robbery)
  • Subway, 6320-133 Capital Blvd., 9:40 p.m., Oct. 31 (robbery)
  • Subway, 5621-101 Louisburg Road, 8:37 p.m., Nov. 4 (robbery)

Police say the assailant had a knife In the Family Dollar case, implied he had a gun at the Handee Hugo robbery and displayed a gun during the other six crimes.

On several occasions, he acted aggressively toward store employees.

"Anytime a weapon is involved, particularly a firearm, things are just a split second from becoming much worse," Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

In an Oct. 31 robbery at the Capital Boulevard Subway restaurant, police say the assailant hit the clerk and then put a gun to her head. During an Oct. 11 robbery at the nearby Your House restaurant, the assailant pointed a gun at workers.

"He came walking in, and he told everybody to shut their damn mouth and be quiet, and he pointed the gun at me," said Amber Waily, a cook at the restaurant.

"He went around to the side to one of the tables to a waitress and put the gun to her head and made her walk to the register to get the money out," she continued.

Police say employees saw a single assailant during the first five cases and two men in the last three.

Similarities involving the assailants' descriptions, the close proximity of the robberies and other factors lead detectives to believe they may be related.

Investigators describe the assailants in some of the robberies as black males in their teens or 20s, of thin build with light to medium skin tone and standing approximately 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall.

In other robberies, the assailant is described as being of a stocky build and standing about 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall.

Anyone with information that might help investigators is asked to call the Raleigh Police Department at 919-996-3555 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-CRIME.

9 Comments

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  • newsmonkey Nov 12, 2008

    I live off Capital Blvd and shop along this corridor daily, so this is very scary to me. I wish WRAL provided more coverage of this. I caught a mention of it on the news this morning, but I was busy with the kids, so I missed the details. I sat through another hour of news, hoping they'd repeat the story (as they usually do), but I guess they bumped it in favor of more of that stupid "siteseeing" garbage. (C'mon, WRAL, this is NOT news -- people are having guns put to their heads in my neighborhood and you think I care about someone who stole some communion wafers in Connecticut?) At least they finally put an article here on the website.

  • ccs1920 Nov 11, 2008

    Don't even try to blame this on the economy. It began in the 1960s and will continue. No education and no job = selling drugs, robbing or both.

  • workingforthosethatwont Nov 11, 2008

    Once they are caught, and they will be, they should be given the maximum sentence for each offense. No early out, no time for good behavior, no parole, no probation...we all know none of that is working. By the time they max out of prison they will be too old to (or hopefully die inside) to do it again. I know people make mistakes in their lives and get desperate sometimes..but this is repetitive criminal behavior, so give them repetitive prison sentences.

  • AtALost Nov 11, 2008

    ifcdirector, there are many reasons for this type of behavior. I've seen people from the same family follow very different paths in life. Some people feel entitled to take what they want instead of working for it. Some just like the thrill of it all. I'm really repulsed by both types of people and hope they run into someone with a CCH. However, there are also those willing to work who are desperate to feed their families. While CEOs offshore and eliminate jobs to increase their multi million dollar bonuses, people are finding it harder to secure lasting jobs with decent wages. While I doubt this is the case here, I suspect we'll see even more robberies unless things really do change in the future.

  • RonnieR Nov 11, 2008

    Looks as if Raleigh SET oughta stake out potential targets on
    that stretch of Capital Blvd.

  • wrx44 Nov 11, 2008

    I agree with lightyear....you can buy HD security cameras that can clearly show all the detail you need to i.d. a criminal. I know they cost more, but would make a huge difference in fighting crime.

  • ifcdirector Nov 11, 2008

    It would put a damper on crime if these families took some tiny bit of responsibility to raise their kids better and supervise them. I am tired of the parents of these kids moaning and groaning after their kid is either in prison or dead. It's your kids. Take responsibility. The government is not going to do it for you nor should they.

  • DanMartin Nov 11, 2008

    Businesses need better video security systems. Especially if they are open after 8pm or have employees arrive very early in the morning.

  • iwanttobeillegalalien Nov 11, 2008

    I know how to curb violent crimes, public canings. We need a legal system like in the middle east. IT WOULD PUT A DAMPER ON CRIME..