Local News

Suspected robber's arrest shocks, relieves Raleigh residents

Posted October 12, 2013
Updated October 15, 2013

— The arrest of a Raleigh man suspected in eight robberies and attempted robberies throughout Wake County has left neighbors and family members in disbelief and some in the community relieved.

Walter Kevin Johnson, 28, faces nearly two dozen charges – including nine counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of first-degree kidnapping and one count each of first-degree burglary, attempted robbery and extortion – after Raleigh police and Wake County sheriff's investigators say he robbed or tried to rob several people at or near their homes during a two-week crime spree last month and earlier this month.

Johnson, of 6124 Braidwood Court, was arrested Friday during a traffic stop and was in the Wake County Detention Center Saturday under a secured bond of $3.9 million.

Investigators said they do not believe he acted alone in the crimes, and they expect additional arrests in the case.

Johnson's wife said Saturday that they were having financial problems and admitted the evidence against her husband was strong. She declined to comment further, however.

Neighbors said that they were shocked by Johnson's arrest.

"I think it is unbelievable that someone could be living this close and you have no idea," said Diane Lewis, who lives on Braidwood Court, off Glenwood Avenue in northwest Raleigh. "It's nerve-wracking."

Police say several of the crimes happened near Johnson's home, including one less than 2 miles away on Pleasant Valley Road on Sept. 22. (Get details of the crimes in the map below.)

In that case, investigators say, a man armed with a handgun assaulted another man and stole a woman's purse as they walked from their car.

Less than 24 hours later, a woman parking her car at an apartment complex off Duraleigh Road – about 3 miles from Johnson's home – was forced into her car and made to drive to an ATM to withdraw cash. She was dropped off, and her car was later found abandoned near her home.

In one of the latest cases, a woman who lives in a neighborhood near Penny and Holly Spring roads near Cary reported waking up in the middle of the night to an armed man in her bedroom.

She said the man told her he'd been in her house for several hours stealing her belongings, made her write down her family's banking information and then demanded she drop off $45,000 for him the following day.

Winnie Kasper said Saturday she is relieved that authorities have made an arrest. Kasper changed her walking routine after one of the robberies happened on her block.

"I am very thankful that they got him," she said.

According to the North Carolina Secretary of State's website, Johnson owns a web design and marketing company called 1855 Media LLC. The firm's website features of photo of Johnson receiving an award from former Gov. Mike Easley.

Johnson has a lengthy criminal history, including prior robbery charges in Vance and Orange counties.

In July 2002, he was convicted of larceny in Vance County and was sentenced to 6 to 8 months in prison.

In Orange County in October 2002, Johnson was convicted of several counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon from crimes spanning a six-month period in 2001 and was sentenced to 5-6 years in prison, followed by parole, which ended in April 2012.


View Wake County robbery spree in a larger map

18 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • schmittmary86 Oct 16, 6:28 p.m.

    @PanthersFan45, I worked with him so i know he had a job. There are probably circumstances that led him to do to these things but we will never know. I'm saddened that it had come to this and I'm glad that everyone feels safe again. I'm not excusing what he did but before you pass judgement on some one make sure you know what your talking about.

  • mramorak Oct 15, 9:07 a.m.

    its so funny Rip Rock!!! Your right!

  • mramorak Oct 15, 9:05 a.m.

    Most of us know when we are breaking the LAW!!! Or what it takes to break the LAW!Also what happenes to us if we break the LAW!Its not secret!!!

  • mramorak Oct 15, 9:02 a.m.

    If that were me they would have put me under the jail the first time i broke the law!!!

  • macy Oct 14, 4:46 p.m.

    I am broke but would never rob anyone because of it.

  • PanthersFan45 Oct 14, 4:15 p.m.

    I'm not sticking up for this guy but he did own his own web design and marketing company. With his criminal past there probably was no way anyone would hire him so he'd have no choice but to try his hand at his own business OR resort to what he was doing until he got caught. Hopefully the residents in Northwest Raleigh can rest easier. I'm waiting to see the additional arrests (if there are any). His wife talked of the financial troubles and I believe her at her word.

  • luv2funrun Oct 14, 2:24 p.m.

    Dang, his mother-in-law said in an interview she couldn't say if he was guilty or innocent. Now his wife says the evidence against him is strong. Sounds like they knew he was trouble anyway! And didn't she recognize him with his picture plastered all over the news? I would have called and turned my husband in. Would have wanted nothing to do with it or him!

  • miyata Oct 14, 2:23 p.m.

    I'm sure he will tell some sob story about being broke and unable to provide for his family and the court will be lenient, when the reality is he is too lazy to work and to selfish not to stop committing crimes....readme

    Alright I don't know anything about the guy, but the article does say own a web design and marketing co. So the "too lazy to work" may be a stretch. It doesn't excuse what he did

  • JAT Oct 14, 1:35 p.m.

    his wife had to know he was out at all the times the robberies took place.

  • brokenstereotype Oct 14, 1:05 p.m.

    now to wait and see if another robbery occurs while he's in custody..

More...