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Police investigate link between robberies, high-speed Wake County chase; 5 arrested

The driver of a black Lexus SUV crashed early Tuesday morning in Wake County after a high-speed chase through two counties.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Authorities are investigating a possible connection between multiple overnight robberies leading up to a high-speed police chase that ended in a crash early Tuesday morning in Apex.

Durham police said the chase started around 3:45 a.m. on N.C. Highway 55 in Durham. Speeds reached up to 110 mph, police said, before the vehicle eventually crashed into another car and then a tree in Wake County on U.S. Highway 1 near New Hill Holloman Road.

Four people sustained minor injuries and were arrested, police said. A fifth person who ran from the scene was caught by the Wake County Sheriff's Office before 11 a.m.

The SUV was the same vehicle police said was stolen during an armed robbery around 1 a.m. in Cary. Cary police said a woman and her brother were returning to their home on Arbor Way when they were approached by two men dressed in black, wearing knit caps.

Both men had handguns and demanded the woman's cell phone, wallet and keys, police said. The men assaulted the woman's brother when he did not give them his cell phone, police said.

"I heard her screaming and when I came out she was running up," said Christian Berduo, the victim's husband. "She was really scared."

Police said four people were taken into custody after the crash, but the driver ran from the scene. K-9 officers were brought in to help search for the fifth suspect.

Marcus Cofield, 17, Jarrien Smith, 18, both of Durham, and three male juveniles were each charged with three counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and three counts of conspiracy to commit robbery.

Police are investigating to see if the suspects in the chase are connected to three other incidents overnight in the area: A man riding a bicycle was shot during a robbery, a second robbery was reported at the intersection of Holloway Street and Park Avenue, and a third was reported near Social Games and Brews on West Main Street in Durham.


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