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Raleigh man charged in string of armed robberies

Raleigh police have charged an 18-year-old in a two-month-long string of robberies at fast-food restaurants and convenience stores.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Police arrested a Raleigh man last week in connection with a two-month-long string of robberies at fast-food restaurants and convenience stores.

Steven Peter Sylvester, 18, of an unknown address in Raleigh, was charged with 10 counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of attempted robbery for robberies that occurred from Oct. 11 to Dec. 4.

He was being held at the Wake County Jail under a $2,040,000 bond Sunday.

Along with Sylvester, Dexter Maxwell, 20 of 6516K-The Lakes Drive, Raleigh, was arrested and charged in the armed robbery of a Subway restaurant, 4003 Wake Forest Road, Nov. 21.

The robberies mainly targeted gas-station convenience stores and fast-food restaurants in northeast Raleigh. Five occurred on Capital Boulevard.

In each, Sylvester threatened the life of an employee and often made away with hundreds of dollars, according to the arrest warrants.

Warrants name Sylvester as a suspect in the following cases:

  • Oct. 11,  Your House Restaurant, 5110 Capital Blvd., $876 stolen
  • Oct. 16,  McDonald's, 5016 Spring Forest Road, an unknown amount stolen
  • Oct. 17,  Wendy's, 4750 Capital Blvd., $80 stolen
  • Oct. 31,  Subway, 6320-133 Capital Blvd., $203.34 stolen
  • Nov. 15, Capital Mart, 4125 Capital Blvd., $200 stolen
  • Nov. 17, Kangaroo Mart, 3741 Capital Blvd., $200 in cash and $34.50 worth of Newport cigarettes stolen
  • Nov. 21, Subway, 4003 Wake Forest Road, $375 stolen
  • Nov. 22, Shell Gas, 210 E. Six Forks Road, $200 stolen
  • Nov. 22, Dollar Tree, 411 New Bern Ave., $90 stolen
  • Dec. 4, Waffle House, 3703 New Bern Ave., $300 stolen
  • Dec. 4, Kangaroo Gas, 6317 Creedmoor Road, $50 stolen

Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said that the investigation into the robberies was continuing and that more charges or arrests were possible.

At the time of his arrest, Sylvester was serving three concurrent probation sentences for common-law robbery, felony breaking-and-entering and driving while impaired, according to state Department of Correction records. He was placed on probation in July.

Maxwell was released from jail in September after serving nearly four months for violating his probation for drug possession, DOC records showed.

Four of the robberies in which Sylvester is charged were cited in mid-November by Raleigh police as being possibly linked and committed by one or two men.

In an Oct. 31 Subway robbery, police say the assailant hit the clerk and then held a gun to her head.

"He got the one girl, put the gun behind her head and took her to the register. Told the rest of us not to move, so I didn't move," Subway employee Ruby Kemp said.

Gas station employee Nil Patel also recalled being the victim of a gunman.

"He just came in and showed me a gun and says, 'Have you seen one of these before?' And (he) took the money and left," Patel said. "I feel great that he's caught, finally behind bars."