Local News

Robberies on the Rise in Raleigh

Posted February 26, 2008 11:11 p.m. EST
Updated February 27, 2008 9:09 a.m. EST

— Robberies are up in Raleigh, and so are efforts to catch the perpetrators. Since New Year's, there have been 172 robberies in the city, compared with 117 last year. 

Police said they are taking the 47 percent increase very seriously.

The Wachovia Bank in Brier Creek and the BB&T near Cameron Village were robbed in January. This month, two brothers were charged with robbing the First Citizens Bank on Stonehenge Drive in north Raleigh.

"I think the numbers speak for themselves. Obviously, there is a significant increase over the same period last year,” said Jim Sughrue, spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department.

Sughrue said that as soon as police noticed a spike in robberies, they formed a robbery suppression team to look for potential suspects. Raleigh also has two detective squads dedicated entirely to investigating robbery cases.

"Every time we prevent a crime, everyone benefits from it," he said.

While robberies are up, so are arrests. This year, 59 suspects were arrested, compared with 37 last year. That is an increase of 59 percent.

At the Citizens Advisory Council meetings in west Raleigh, members receive monthly police reports on their area. Members said Tuesday they had not heard about the citywide spike in robberies.

“I don't know what to say, besides I'm glad it's not happening around this area. But if it is occurring, I think the police chief and officers will try and step it up,” said Mark Vander-Borgh, with the Citizens Advisory Council.

Police said 62 percent of the robberies were of people, 30 percent of businesses and 8 percent of homes.

Nearly 80 percent were armed robberies, involving a gun, knife or other weapon.

Anyone with information that might assist a robbery investigation is asked to call 919-890-3555 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-CRIME.