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Durham Police suspend search for possibly armed suspect on West

Updated 7:00 p.m.

Durham police officers have located and arrested three of four suspects involved in an robbery at Morreene Manor Apartments Thursday afternoon. The fourth suspect was not found after a three-hour search effort by the Durham Police Department.

At about 11:20 a.m., DPD Officer S.J. Roman stopped a red minivan for speeding near Erwin Road, DPD Public Information Officer Kammie Michael wrote in an e-mail. One passenger immediately jumped out of the van and fled, while the van sped away. Officers found and arrested the escaped passenger in the 1200 block of Morreene Road.

At the same time, Michael said officers were dispatched to a report of a robbery at Morreene Manor Apartments at 3600 Tremont Drive. Two employees told officers they were robbed at gunpoint by two males who fled the scene in a red minivan. The van’s description matched that of the vehicle stopped by Roman earlier Thursday morning.

The van stopped in a parking lot near N.C. 751 and Science Drive, and the remaining three occupants fled. A DPD dog tracked down a 12 year-old male lying in the woods and another male was found on Erwin Road. The fourth suspect, who was last seen just before noon running into the wooded area behind the R. David Thomas Conference Center on West Campus, was not found.

Two of the suspects, Quishawn Lamont Smith, 16, and Tyquon Antonio Smith, 17, were arrested and charged with conspiracy. Smith was also charged with robbery and possession of a dangerous weapon. Officers filed a petition with  juvenile court to formally prosecute the 12 year-old male.

Members of the Duke community were notified of the incident at approximately 12:24 p.m. through a DukeALERT about a potentially armed suspect being pursued by DPD after an off-campus robbery.

A later DukeALERT announced that three of the four suspects had been taken into custody, adding that the fourth suspect was still being pursued in the wooded area on Science Drive near the Fuqua School of Busines.

The general manager of the R. Davis Thomas Center of Fuqua said that business was going on as usual, adding that Duke police did a good job of handling the situation.

Steven Hartsoe, senior editor of Duke University News and Communications and liaison between Duke police and Durham, said he did not know why the search was called off.

According to the DukeALERT e-mail, Duke officials will continue limiting access to some West Campus buildings near the incident operating on “an after-hours controlled basis,” requiring members of the Duke community to swipe in with their DukeCards for entry.

As a precaution, Duke Police advise members of the Duke community to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious individuals or behavior to them at 684-2444, according to the DukeALERT e-mail.

Matthew Chase contributed reporting.


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