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Suspect sought in attempted hold-up at Durham Kroger

Posted August 21, 2013

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— Durham police are looking for a suspect who allegedly tried to rob a man loading groceries into his truck early Sunday morning in a Kroger parking lot.

James Odis Sowell Jr., 49, of Durham, is wanted on a charge of attempted armed robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the Aug. 18 crime outside the grocery store on North Pointe Drive.

The victim told police that a man approached him, hit him in his side with an unknown object and demanded money. But investigators said the man fled when the victim grabbed a rake from his truck and started to call 911.

Anyone with information about Sowell's whereabouts is asked to contact the Durham Police Department at 919-560-4582, extension 29248, or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.


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  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 23, 2013

    Agreed, very well put.

  • Jack Flash Aug 22, 2013

    "now that said, often what appears to be simply panhandling turns in to armed robbery or assault very quickly."

    Actually, I was replying to people who had already covered that, so there's no need to return to the original claim. I have no doubt that the appearance of panhandling is used as a cover for robbery or assault sometimes. Genuine panhandling, however, does NOT 'turn into' robbery or assault. Of course, there's no way to tell what you're dealing w/ until later, so responding w/ caution is appropriate. Insinuating they are one and the same, whether deliberate or through broad language, is the kind of thing that leads to demonizing the homeless.

  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 22, 2013

    Just to expand on panhandling can quickly turn in to armed robbery or assault.

    If the person is being very aggressive in engaging and following and it really turns in to chasing you your likely about to be robbed and or assaulted. Don't try to get to the safety of you car a false sense of security drives one to do that. Instead, if you can, try to get to a store or a busy road any place where other people could likely be.

  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 22, 2013

    "Okay, let's be clear here: panhandling and attempted armed robbery are completely different."

    Absolutely, now that said, often what appears to be simply panhandling turns in to armed robbery or assault very quickly.

  • Scubagirl Aug 22, 2013

    Well I daresay that IF I had complained to the mgr and the mgr did nothing but laugh it off, then a call to HIS mgr would be in order

  • Jack Flash Aug 22, 2013

    "After being approached several times for money..."
    "My daughter was approached for money..."

    Okay, let's be clear here: panhandling and attempted armed robbery are completely different.

  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 22, 2013

    "The do need security in this area."

    The Home Depot used to have a paid off duty Durham County Sheriff Officer at that store for years after the manager was shot. I haven't seen one there for some time though.

  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 22, 2013

    My brother was approached here at the Home Depot. This person had bad intentions which after my brother showed him the business end something you don't want to see the business end of the perp quickly disappeared.

  • devilblue Aug 22, 2013

    The do need security in this area. My daughter was approached for money as she was entering PetSmart and the guy even continued to harass her for money inside the store. My sister was approached in the parking lot at Costco around the same time.

  • Lougrantstwin Aug 22, 2013

    After being approached several times for money in this parking lot,I complained to the Manager at Kroger. He laughed it off. They really need some security there.