Local News

Woman to armed robbers: 'What if I was your sister?'

Posted September 4, 2015 6:33 a.m. EDT
Updated September 4, 2015 6:35 p.m. EDT

— The 23-year-old woman walked along Wedgedale Avenue in Durham on Thursday night, like she does most nights after taking the bus home from work, when she heard footsteps coming up behind her.

Then she felt the metal barrel of a gun pressed to the back of her head.

"They're telling me to get on the ground, where's the money, where's your phone," said the woman, who did not want to be identified.

She was one of 13 people robbed at gunpoint during an hourlong crime spree that happened in four different locations across Durham late Thursday. Durham police arrested five suspects Friday.

Dremar Webb, 18, Dexter Webb, 17, and Trayveion Jackson, 17, all of Durham, are charged with several counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Police did not identify the two remaining suspects because they are juveniles.

The crime spree started at 10:17 p.m., when seven people in the 2400 block of Holloway Street were robbed of cash, cellphones and a truck. The truck was found a short time later in the 500 block of Hardee Street.

At 10:20 p.m., the woman on Wedgedale Avenue had her purse stolen.

Then at 10:30 p.m., two people in the 1500 block of Glenn School Road were robbed of cash, cellphones and a purse.

At 11:12 p.m., cash was stolen from three people in the 500 block of Hardee Street.

Officers responding to calls at the Hardee Street location were directed by residents to nearby woods. With the help of a police dog, officers tracked the suspects off Cheek Road.

For the woman robbed on Wedgedale Avenue, the experience left her shaken and contemplating getting a gun for protection.

"They told me to stand up and started patting me down," she recalled. "They checked my pockets. One of them even touched my breast. It all happened so quickly, it was disorienting. They kept moving around me."

The woman said she complied.

"There were so many of them, and the corner where we are - there's no street lights," she said. "I knew no one was going to see anything."

Police spokesman Wil Glenn said calls and tips from residents helped officers make the arrests.

"It's our job to keep the City of Durham safe and secure," he said. "We need our residents to continue to work with us. If they see something, call 911."

The woman had a simple message for her assailants.

"I just hope that you don't make this decision again, that this is a learning lesson for you, that you treat other people the way you want to be treated. What if I was your sister? What if I was your mother? What if I was someone you knew?" she said.

Dremar Webb, Dexter Webb and Trayveion Jackson were each given a $3 million bond.

Police said they are investigating whether the suspects are linked to other crimes.