Local News

Robbers Pose as Law Enforcement Officers, Durham Police Say

Posted October 19, 2007 12:48 a.m. EDT

— Several men pretended to be law enforcement officers in order to commit two robberies at apartment complexes in western Durham this week, police said.

A group of between three or five men in a dark-colored Honda Accord or Civic committed the robberies within two hours overnight Wednesday.

One man got out of the car and approached three males at Duke Villa Apartments, 1505 Duke University Road, around 11 p.m.

The robber, who was wearing a badge on a chain around his neck, told the men they matched the description of some shooting suspects. He patted the victims down, took their wallets and then fled in the sedan, which was occupied by three or four more people.

The second robbery occurred around 12:45 a.m. Thursday in a parking lot at Duke Manor Apartments, 311 S. LaSalle St.

The victims said two males pulled up and put a green light on the roof of their car.  The robbers ordered the two victims to get out of their vehicle and to put their hands on the hood to be searched for weapons.

Again, the thieves patted down the victims and stole items from them. The men then took off the green light off the car's roof and fled the scene with the headlights off.

A third person stayed inside the vehicle the entire time.

Police described one suspect as black male in his 20s, standing 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing between 165 and 175 pounds. He had shoulder-length cornrows and was wearing a white shirt and black pants.

The second suspect was described as a black male with short hair. The male who remained in the vehicle was wearing a dark shirt resembling a security uniform.

Durham police are also investigating a similar robbery that took place at an apartment complex in the 1300 block of Juniper Street in the early hours of Sept. 22.

Two males in a dark blue Honda Accord pulled up the victim, and the passenger got out. He identified himself as a police officer and asked for the victim's identification. He then pointed a gun at the victim and demanded his wallet.

The suspect in that robbery is described as a heavyset black male wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to call Investigator A.J. Simmons at 919-560-1020, ext. 226 or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.