Two men lead Durham deputies on chase after robbery
Two men stole a car and robbed a Latino grocery store Wednesday night before leading police on a chase that ended in a crash.
The driver, 18-year-old Jose Luis Perez-Alejandre of Markham Avenue in Durham was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
Later, he was booked into the Durham County Jail on charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, fleeing and eluding arrest with a motor vehicle, and served with outstanding unrelated warrants for affray and resisting an officer. He was held under $253,000 bond.
The passenger, another male, fled on foot and has not yet been found or identified.
The Durham Sheriff’s Office gives this account of the night’s events:
Wednesday evening, Durham police got a report of a stolen white 1994 Toyota Corolla LE.
About 10 p.m., sheriff’s deputies responded to a robbery at Tortilleria y Carcineria, a grocery at 3801 Wake Forest Highway.
While deputies were en route, they learned that a witness was following the suspects and that the men in the stolen Toyota had fired shots at him while on Freeman Road, between Mineral Springs and Clayton roads.
“The witness decided to stop following the suspects, but not before providing an accurate description of the vehicle, which was relayed to the responding deputies,” said Deputy Paul Sherwin, sheriff’s office spokesman, in a news release.
Minutes later, a deputy spied the Corolla near Miami Boulevard and Holloway Street. The deputy tried to stop the car, but the suspects fled west on Holloway before turning north on Guthrie Avenue.
The chase took less than a minute and about a quarter mile before the Corolla wrecked near Guthrie and Evergreen Street, Sherwin said.
Investigators recovered from the car two semi-automatic pistols and cash thought stolen in the robbery.
No store employees, customers or bystanders were hurt in the incident.
“I am relieved no innocent people were hurt during the robbery or vehicle pursuit,” said Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews. “It appears the suspects were in the midst of a crime spree and were determined not to be stopped. I want those in our community who provided information and placed themselves in harm’s way following the robbery to know we are grateful for their assistance.”
He praised deputies, the Durham Police Department and the N.C. State Highway Patrol for collaborating to capture Perez-Alejandre, who may face additional charges from the city for the stolen vehicle and shots fired at the witness.
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