Local News

Passers-by catch robbery suspect in Chapel Hill

Posted January 15, 2013

Chapel Hill Police Department

— Passers-by helped catch and detain a suspect who was running away after police said he robbed someone on West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill.

Chapel Hill police officers said they responded to an emergency call at 10:30 a.m. Monday about a strong-arm robbery that happened in University Square. Callers said the suspect fled on foot in the direction of Granville Towers.

Officers arrived to find that several passers-by, along with the victim, had caught and detained the suspect, who was identified as Nasir Keshawn Brown, 17. Brown was charged with a felony count of larceny from a person and a misdemeanor count of possession of stolen property.

He was held in the Orange County jail under a secured bond.

“We would advise citizens not to put themselves in harm’s way unless it is absolutely necessary,” Police Chief Christopher Blue said. "However, we are very appreciative of the citizens who intervened in this case. Their selfless actions helped us take the suspect into custody. I do want to remind citizens that calling 911 is the best safety tip of them all.”


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  • Common Sense Man Jan 15, 2013

    "Chapel Hills crimes never make the news or are recorded differently, welfarequeen. Police reported a Robbery but arrested the man for Larceny. BIG difference."

    He snatched a phone out of her hand. The charge is felony larceny from the person, so they charged him correctly. The charge listed on the incident report was also larceny from person. Saying "robbery" was probably someone trying to use the best word to describe the incident.

  • johnny2times Jan 15, 2013

    how do you people get so far off topic?? lol.

    Click to view my profile Wags
    January 15, 2013 5:07 p.m

    I agree 100%....because their emotions get involved....its funny to watch anyway....

  • neverindoubt Jan 15, 2013

    aetius476...I totally agree with your assessment but will add the makings of this problem have been in the works for years. The town converted the old police station(Rosemary and Airport, just behind Four Corners) to a homeless shelter about 20 years ago. The homeless can sleep there but aren't allowed inside during the day. Too many bleeding hearts. The Town Council has fined business owners whose downtown shops are not rented? really? that's the way to be pro-business. Don't you think the business owners want to rent their spaces? These people are so far out of touch! Grew up there and choose to live in Cary, with lots of other CH natives. Wouldn't move back for anything.

  • editor nc Jan 15, 2013

    Chapel Hills crimes never make the news or are recorded differently, welfarequeen.
    Police reported a Robbery but arrested the man for Larceny. BIG difference.
    Chapel Hill has had how many murders in the past year? No suspects on one, but no danger to the public?
    Many of thr drunks on Franklin St are NEVER arrested, they are dropped off by police at UNC Hospital. Hence, NOT a crime stat.

    This is a city of opportunity for all the criminals.

  • Wags Jan 15, 2013

    how do you people get so far off topic?? lol.

  • aetius476 Jan 15, 2013

    "We took our daughter to Four Corners for a Sunday lunch recently. Right outside were several winos drinking from paper sacks. In several hours of being there, we didn't see any Chapel Hill Police at all." - k4rlcc

    I live in CH and work downtown, and can confirm what you are saying. The situation with the street people has gotten worse.

    Drunks and panhandlers litter Franklin Street, and aggressively solicit and harrass.

    Apparently the cops have been told to go easy, because they just seem to look on with amusement. Probably why crime is increasiong lately.

    Our current mayor is a pro-criminal liberal attorney and has made the problem much worse.

  • Rebelyell Jan 15, 2013

    mug shot's on chapel hill news dot com

  • smcallah Jan 15, 2013

    However, you can do a "citizen's" arrest if a LEO directs you to do so if he or she requires the assistance.

  • smcallah Jan 15, 2013

    "I was told when I took my concealed carry class that NC has no provission for citizen's arrest, and that by detaining someone, you are opening yourself up to litigation if they aren't convicted, and somnetimes, even if they are. Any police or lawyers want to weigh in?"

    That is correct you cannot arrest anyone as a citizen.

    But you can detain, according to NC General Statute § 15A‑404. Detention of offenders by private persons.

    It applies here, as called out in the statute: (4) A crime involving theft or destruction of property.

    And the length of detention is until an LEO detains him instead of you or there is no crime determined.

    Since this is in the law, there should be no way you can be sued for that, unless you used unreasonable force to detain.

  • Common Sense Man Jan 15, 2013

    "Man,17 year olds can rob and kill but cannot have sex,funny mentality law we people have"

    A 17 year old can't have sex with someone >4 years younger than them, but they can have sex. And the age of consent is 16 by the way.