Local News

Accused robber gets prison on weapons charge

Posted May 6, 2009 2:50 p.m. EDT

— A Durham man was sentenced Wednesday to more than seven years in prison on a federal firearms charge linked to a string of armed robberies last summer.

Keith Robert Webster, 23, of 516 Burlington St., pleaded guilty in December to possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun. He was sentenced to 87 months in prison.

Webster also faces several state charges in the July robbery spree.

Two men were robbed on East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill on July 20 by a man armed with a shotgun. Two days later, customers were robbed by a shotgun-toting man at an RBC Bank automated teller machine on Willow Drive in Chapel Hill, a Wachovia Bank ATM at 3959 New Bern Ave. in Raleigh and at a car wash across the street from the Wachovia bank.

The July 22 spree ended with an attempted robbery at the Bank of America ATM at 321 Oberlin Road in Raleigh.

Webster was arrested a short time later near the North Carolina State Fairgrounds after police matched the license number of the car he was driving to the vehicle used in the RBC Bank ATM robbery.

U.S. District Judge James Dever III handed down a harsher sentence than one called for under federal sentencing guidelines, authorities said.

"We hope this will send a strong message that deters others who contemplate armed robbery,” U.S. Attorney George Holding said in a statement.