Durham County

Man arrested at Durham Target for robberies faces more charges

Rollin Anthony Owens Jr.
Rollin Anthony Owens Jr.

Police filed additional charges Wednesday against Rollin Anthony Owens Jr., who was arrested Tuesday after a man who said Owens had kidnapped him asked a Target employee for help and the employee called the police.

According to police, a man knocked on the door of a West End home at 7 a.m. Tuesday and asked for money. The suspect forced the home's residents – a man, woman and two young children – at gunpoint, out of their home and into their parked car.

The suspect forced one of the victims to drive to an ATM and withdraw money.

Next, the suspect forced the victim to drive to a convenience store and then to the Target on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard.

The suspect forced the victims to buy several bags of clothing and gift cards.

But one of the victims alerted a Target employee who called 911, and police officers in the Target parking lot arrested Owens without incident shortly after 8:30 a.m..

Owens was charged with several counts of second-degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Wednesday’s charges

The additional charges filed Wednesday are robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault by pointing a gun. They stem from a second robbery that police think Owens committed Tuesday before he was arrested at Target.

Police responded to a robbery call on Morehead Avenue at 6:45 a.m. A man told officers a suspect had walked up to him and asked for money, then grabbed his cup of coffee.

The suspect took a sip of the coffee and told the man it was too sweet. He put the coffee down, pointed a gun and knife at the man and again demanded money. He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash after he also tried to take the victim’s vehicle but was scared away when another vehicle drove by.

Additional cases

Police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said Owens is also charged in three additional cases.

▪ A father and his two young children were at Burch Avenue Park on Saturday when a man approached them around 10:45 a.m. and asked for money.

The father was putting his children into a car when the suspect pressed a gun to his head. The suspect forced the father to drive to an ATM and withdraw money and then drive to a convenience store.

The suspect got out of the father's car on Estes Street and fled.

▪ A male was walking on Morgan Street around 2:30 a.m. Sunday when a man approached him and demanded money. When the victim replied, he had no money to give, the suspect stuck a gun to his stomach and fled.

But, the suspect came back, again stuck a gun to the victim's stomach and made a demand for cash. The suspect never received any cash in this incident

▪ Two brothers, 32 and 31, were in an apartment complex parking lot on Duke University Road around 11:15 p.m. Sunday when a man armed with a gun approached them and asked for money.

The young brother struggled with the suspect. The suspect hit him on the head and face with his gun before forcing him into the trunk of a vehicle and forcing the older brother to drive that vehicle to an ATM.

After cruising to the ATM with his brother in the trunk, the older brother was forced to drive to a convenience store so the the suspect could get cigarettes.

The suspect fled from the vehicle at an unknown location and the younger brother was treated for cuts to his face and head and a possible concussion.

$1 million bond

Owens faces numerous charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon, second-degree kidnapping, assault inflicting serious injury, assault by pointing a gun and prior charges of felony larceny, breaking and entering, obtaining property by false pretense and trespassing.

He is being held in the Durham County jail on $1 million bail.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call investigators at 919-560-4583, ext. 29356.

Colin Warren-Hicks: 919-419-6636, @CWarrenHicks