Local News

Durham police investigating string of armed robberies near Duke campus

Posted November 26, 2018 4:36 p.m. EST
Updated November 26, 2018 6:17 p.m. EST

— Durham police are investigating four robberies that have been reported in the past two weeks in the area of the Belmont Apartments on McQueen Drive.

So far, no charges have been filed, and investigators are trying to determine if the cases are related.

Investigators are asking for information about the following incidents:

  • A 21-year-old man was followed up the stairs and forced into his apartment on McQueen Drive at gunpoint. A man wearing all black clothing and a gray scarf pointed a gun at the victim and took the victim’s wallet and electronic items.
  • A 24-year-old man was getting something out of his car on McQueen Drive when a man with a gun came up behind him and forced him back into the vehicle. The suspect forced the victim to drive to an ATM and withdraw money. The suspect took the victim’s phone, wallet and cash before getting out of the car.
  • A 26-year-old woman woke up to find two men wearing scarves over their faces inside her bedroom on Sweeney Drive. They robbed her at gunpoint of a phone, electronic items and her vehicle.
  • A 27-year-old man was walking to his apartment on Eastman Drive when two males wearing hoodies robbed him of his keys, phone and vehicle. The stolen vehicle was recovered in Hillsborough.

No injuries have been reported.

The property manager at the apartment complex said they have hired extra security guards to work after hours to keep residents safe.

Durham armed robberies

"Crime unfortunately can happen anywhere, but we are doing whatever we can to prevent it best as possible," said Micah Gardner, the property manager.

Shane DiDona believes he may have captured the suspects on a security camera he has mounted on his patio. The footage shows two men walking by.

"Then, 13 minutes later, they walked back, both looking at the camera," he said.

One is wearing a mask.

Several tenants have asked to be let out of their lease.

Anyone with information about any of these robberies is asked to call Cpl. Frey at 919-560-4440, ext. 29480 or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.

The Durham Police Department would like to share the following personal safety tips:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Call 911 immediately if you see any suspicious activity or witness a crime.
  • Have your keys ready when approaching to enter your apartment or your vehicle.
  • Do not carry large amounts of money or jewelry.
  • Do not walk alone at night. Dark areas give robbers the advantage to commit crime.
  • If someone is following you, do not drive directly to your neighborhood. Instead, drive to a well-lit area.
  • When you are walking, avoid strangers or groups of strangers.
  • Park your vehicle in well-lit areas.
  • Do not open your home door to strangers. Call 911 immediately.
  • Report all incidents of crime. Police cannot investigate and detain suspects if you do not report crime.
  • Do not resist if you are being robbed. Always cooperate with the robber. Your life is more important than items of material value.
  • Obtain a good description of the suspect so you can report it to the police and call 911 immediately.