Local News

Raleigh man charged in string of armed robberies

Posted December 14, 2008
Updated December 15, 2008

— Police arrested a Raleigh man last week in connection with a two-month-long string of robberies at fast-food restaurants and convenience stores.

Steven Peter Sylvester, 18, of an unknown address in Raleigh, was charged with 10 counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of attempted robbery for robberies that occurred from Oct. 11 to Dec. 4.

He was being held at the Wake County Jail under a $2,040,000 bond Sunday.

Along with Sylvester, Dexter Maxwell, 20 of 6516K-The Lakes Drive, Raleigh, was arrested and charged in the armed robbery of a Subway restaurant, 4003 Wake Forest Road, Nov. 21.

The robberies mainly targeted gas-station convenience stores and fast-food restaurants in northeast Raleigh. Five occurred on Capital Boulevard.

In each, Sylvester threatened the life of an employee and often made away with hundreds of dollars, according to the arrest warrants.

Warrants name Sylvester as a suspect in the following cases:

  • Oct. 11,  Your House Restaurant, 5110 Capital Blvd., $876 stolen
  • Oct. 16,  McDonald's, 5016 Spring Forest Road, an unknown amount stolen
  • Oct. 17,  Wendy's, 4750 Capital Blvd., $80 stolen
  • Oct. 31,  Subway, 6320-133 Capital Blvd., $203.34 stolen
  • Nov. 15, Capital Mart, 4125 Capital Blvd., $200 stolen
  • Nov. 17, Kangaroo Mart, 3741 Capital Blvd., $200 in cash and $34.50 worth of Newport cigarettes stolen
  • Nov. 21, Subway, 4003 Wake Forest Road, $375 stolen
  • Nov. 22, Shell Gas, 210 E. Six Forks Road, $200 stolen
  • Nov. 22, Dollar Tree, 411 New Bern Ave., $90 stolen
  • Dec. 4, Waffle House, 3703 New Bern Ave., $300 stolen
  • Dec. 4, Kangaroo Gas, 6317 Creedmoor Road, $50 stolen

Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said that the investigation into the robberies was continuing and that more charges or arrests were possible.

At the time of his arrest, Sylvester was serving three concurrent probation sentences for common-law robbery, felony breaking-and-entering and driving while impaired, according to state Department of Correction records. He was placed on probation in July.

Maxwell was released from jail in September after serving nearly four months for violating his probation for drug possession, DOC records showed.

Four of the robberies in which Sylvester is charged were cited in mid-November by Raleigh police as being possibly linked and committed by one or two men.

In an Oct. 31 Subway robbery, police say the assailant hit the clerk and then held a gun to her head.

"He got the one girl, put the gun behind her head and took her to the register. Told the rest of us not to move, so I didn't move," Subway employee Ruby Kemp said.

Gas station employee Nil Patel also recalled being the victim of a gunman.

"He just came in and showed me a gun and says, 'Have you seen one of these before?' And (he) took the money and left," Patel said. "I feel great that he's caught, finally behind bars."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • news4u Dec 15, 2008

    Ask his victims where he should have been - Pretty sure they would say he should have been in JAIL!

  • seeingthru Dec 15, 2008

    shame to see someone go down this road to .a dead end, wonder what got him started? needs jailing tho, but why was he even free given his record?

  • Dr. Dataclerk Dec 15, 2008

    He did not murder anyone.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Dec 15, 2008

    He deserves the death penalty

    For his crimes, in my opinion should be about 35 years.

  • jacc1001 Dec 15, 2008

    Steven Sylvester has a negative worth to society. He deserves the death penalty and it should be expeditiously administered.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Dec 15, 2008

    All I was saying is that our children are exploited in many ways,

    Make sure you raise yours in the right way and they will not stray from it. Can you handle that?

  • familyfour Dec 15, 2008


    What? My son is five, and wears pants that fit. You do not know me at all....

    All I was saying is that our children are exploited in many ways, and many things that aren't glamorous, do seem that way due to the amount of advertising, and what not.

    You know what ...just forget I said anything...I really don't have time to deal with your endless and rediculous attacks.....you don't even make any sense....what you said was so far from the truth it makes you look really not so smart....

    and yes...Nothing made of ill intent will ever come to pass...thank you for contributing ~almost~ quotes from my profile....that is exactly how I feel.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Dec 15, 2008


  • familyfour Dec 15, 2008

    society stop glorifying a criminal lifestyle.......

    This was mentioned earlier....and for most of us it isn't true....but look at music...tv (especially reality shows)....games....

    Jobs are not glorified....being financially stable is not glorified....having the best high dollor droopy pants, an ipod, a b-berry, and a cool car are all that teens and youths are targeted for....and all thugs look "KEWL" so go figure....

    Kids come up with a reaaly screwy sense of what is cool, and what's not....and the work ethic is SHOT...doesn't matter how good you parent....there is a world of "look how easy this is" being thrown everywhere you look

  • ncwebguy Dec 15, 2008

    411 New Bern Ave. should be 4111. It is correct on the Google map, but not the story. There is only some houses on the 400 block, and no Dollar Trees (or any other stores) nearby.

    As for the person arrested, he is just raising money for his militia... that's the only reason we have the right to arms and the only reason why anyone owns a gun, right? We have a high prison population in this country because of the easy access to guns and the crimes committed with them. How much money would someone get with a knife or baseball bat from more than 5-10 feet away? None.

    Are people honestly saying we should do away with due process to save money? Or making the case for cruel and unusal punishment in the form of years in prison and/or physical punishment for a misdemeanor? Wow. I know President Bush made a mockery of the Constitution, but that may be going to far.

    I hope people don't get mistaken for a criminal and face the same "justice" they are asking for on here.