It all started when a man knocked on the door of a house in the West End neighborhood in Durham about 7 a.m. Tuesday and asked for money. A resident gave the man money, but the man displayed a gun and then forced the residents - an adult man and woman, and two young children - out of the house and into the family's vehicle.
The man forced the male driver to go to an ATM and withdraw money, Durham Police said. He also forced him to drive to a convenience store before forcing them to drive to Target on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard. The suspect forced the victims to go into the store with him and had them purchase several bags of clothing and gift cards.
While in the store, one victim alerted an employee, who called 911. Durham police officers happened to be in the parking lot of Target when the call came out shortly before 8:30 a.m. and were able to arrest the suspect without incident.
Listen to the 911 call:
The suspect - 29-year-old Rollin Anthony Owens Jr. - was charged with several counts of second-degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with this incident.
Owens was also charged with committing a series of armed robberies and kidnappings during the past few days, including these cases:
- On June 17, a man was at Burch Avenue Park with his two young children when a man approached him around 10:45 a.m. and asked for money. The man then put a gun to the victim's head as the victim was putting his children in a car. The suspect forced the victim to drive him to an ATM and withdraw money and then drive him to a convenience store. The suspect got out of the car on Estes Street and fled.
- On June 18 around 2:30 a.m., a male was walking on Morgan Street when a man approached him and demanded money. When the victim said he had no money, the man put a gun to his stomach and then fled. The suspect approached the victim again a short time later, put a gun to his stomach and again asked for money. The suspect fled without any cash.
- On June 18, two brothers, ages 31 and 32, were in a parking lot of an apartment complex on Duke University Road around 11:15 p.m. when a man armed with a gun approached them and asked for money. The younger brother struggled with the suspect and the suspect hit him on the head and face numerous times with his gun. The suspect then forced the younger brother into the trunk of a vehicle and forced the older brother to drive the vehicle to an ATM and a convenience store to buy cigarettes. The suspect fled from the vehicle at an unknown location. The younger brother was treated for lacerations to his face and head and a possible concussion.
Owens is facing numerous charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon, second-degree kidnapping, assault inflicting serious injury and assault by pointing a gun. He was also arrested on prior charges of felony larceny, breaking and entering, obtaining property by false pretense and trespassing.
He was placed in Durham County Jail under a $1 million bond which remained unchanged after his first court appearance on Wednesday.
Anyone with information about these cases is asked to call Investigator Crabtree at (919) 560-4583, ext. 29356.
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