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Garner Police Arrest 2 Teens In Connection With ATM Robberies

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GARNER, N.C. — Garner police have arrested two teenagers they say committed two armed robberies in less than three hours Saturday night.

Jonathan Jerome Gulley, 17, of 1303 Pinewinds Drive, was taken into custody Saturday night after one of the victims identified Gulley as a man who robbed her. He was charged with two counts of armed robbery.

Gulley reportedly was carrying several $20 bills at the time of his arrest late Saturday. A bank employee said the bills carried were from the same ATM machine used by the second victim.

Police arrested the second suspect, 16-year-old Brandon Tyrell Cotton, of 117 Longneedle Court, on Sunday.

Cotton and Gulley were photographed at the scene of the first robbery.

Police believe Cotton displayed a gun in both robberies.

An investigation into the robberies began around 7:30 p.m., when the first victim, Donte Thomas, drove to the Garner Police Department and filed a report.

Thomas said two black men attempted to rob him at the First Citizens Bank ATM machine on 2520 Timber Drive. One suspect allegedly was armed with a gun.

Garner police officers responded to the bank immediately but were unable to locate the suspects. No injuries were reported to police.

The second robbery was reported about 9 p.m. Romaine Kay Brown called Garner police to say she had been robbed by two black men at the Central Carolina Bank ATM machine on 118 Small Pine Drive. According to Brown, the men approached her -- one of them displaying a gun -- and demanded she withdraw money.

Brown said she complied with all demands without question. Both suspects then fled the scene, running on foot toward Pinewinds Drive.

Suspect descriptions given by Brown to police were similar to those provided earlier by Thomas. Brown did not report any injuries to police.

Garner officers immediately established a perimeter at the CCB ATM machine on Small Pine Drive. Canine handler Todd Marr responded with Maddox, his police dog, and Maddox was able to track suspect foot paths to the 1900 block of Pinewinds Drive.

Investigator Mike Brown also responded to the scene. Believing both suspects may still be nearby on foot, Brown began driving around the area in his unmarked police car. Brown located two men walking in the vicinity, one of which matched descriptions provided by both victims, and the men were detained on site for questioning.

Romaine Brown was brought to the location by other officers and identified Gulley, and he was arrested on the spot.

Police said the second male detained by investigator Brown was a juvenile and not directly involved in the robberies. He was released to a family member.

Photographs obtained from the First Citizens ATM machine camera, at the location where Thomas was robbed, revealed that Gulley was accompanied by Cotton.

"Every Officer worked quickly and collectively to make the arrest," said Garner police Sgt. Chris Clayton. "It involved one of our canine units, investigator Mike Brown, officers Chris Adams and Jason Pierce. I want to thank CCB and First Citizens Bank personnel for their willingness to help on such short notice, especially on a Saturday night.

Also, said Clayton, "the arrest would also not have been possible without victim cooperation. Mr. Thomas and Ms. Brown were instrumental in helping us with this case. It's always a good day when we can arrest violent criminals and remove them from our streets."

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