Masked gunmen rob West Durham convenience store

Jan. 21, 2013 @ 08:12 PM

Two masked gunmen robbed a West Durham convenience store Sunday night and escaped with money, a cash register and cigars after holding their pistols on a clerk and forcing him into a back office.
The robbery happened at 10:22 p.m. at Town ‘n Country at 412 S. LaSalle St., across from Duke Manor Apartments.
Two men wearing masks, green T-shirts and jeans approached an employee and forced him inside the business, police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said. She said the gunmen fled with cash and cigars.
Officers broadcast a description of a possible suspect vehicle, and a few minutes later, an officer saw a vehicle with a similar description speeding on West Main Street, and tried to stop it. The driver failed to stop, and the officer lost sight of it. A short time later, police found the vehicle wrecked on West Main Street near Perry Street, Michael said.
The two occupants were taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries that police said do not appear to be life-threatening.
Michael said the driver, 25-year-old Brandon Hill of Durham, was charged with speeding, careless and reckless driving and driving without a license. It did not appear Monday night that Hill and his passenger were involved in the robbery, she said.
In an interview Monday, the store clerk said he had stepped outside the store briefly when the two gunmen confronted him and said: “Go back! Go back!”
“I said: ‘What are you trying to do here?’ ” he said. “They said: ‘Go back!’ Then I went into my office” and watched the store’s security camera as the robbery unfolded.
The clerk, who called 911 from the office, said the gunmen took the cash register and a box of change, and left. He said he saw the robbers get into a light-green car that sped away on LaSalle Street toward Hillsborough Road.
No arrest in the holdup had been reported Monday night.
The clerk described the gunmen as black, slim and about 5 feet 9 inches tall.
Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases, and callers never have to identify themselves.