Durham County News

Man arrested, another sought after teller shot during Durham bank robbery

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) - Durham police have arrested a man in connection with Wednesday's robbery of SunTrust Bank.

Police said they are also looking for another man, Larry Lamar Johnson, 29, of Durham, who they say is linked to the robbery in which a bank teller was shot.

Javon Cheek, 24, of Durham is being charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon among other charges.

Cheek was also served with an outstanding warrant from the Durham County Sheriff’s Office charging him with being a sex offender and failing to report his new address, police said.

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Johnson was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, according to a news release from Durham police.

The robbery, which included a shooting, happened at the SunTrust bank at 2008 E. N.C. Highway 54 around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday. Police say the man shot the teller in the arm before he ran out with a handful of cash.

"Please send help," a woman told an 911 operator. Durham police released a series of calls Thursday related the robbery. 

A distraught caller said the suspect was wearing a wig when he appeared to come in to make a deposit. 

"We have blood everywhere," she said. 

"He just walked up and cut the lady in line and said, 'You need to take my deposit.' I said, 'I'm closed, give me one second.' He walked back, then cut the lady again and then he pulled a gun out. He said, 'Hurry up, hurry up.'" 

The caller said she had never seen the suspect in the bank before. 

CBS 17 spoke with one customer who left the bank just before the robbery occurred.

"Oh my God I am so horrified that we could have almost been in there," said Kathy Jacobs.

Police said the suspect is approximately 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-10. He was wearing a wig with long braids, sunglasses, a pink jacket, and black pants.

Jacobs said she noticed the man as she was walking into the bank.

"I noticed. I'm like, those braids are not really attached to his head. That's a like a wig, and he looked really in heavy, thick clothes that he should have been really warm in. I hesitated a little bit and he offered to open the door for me," she said.

After finishing some paperwork inside, Jacbos' daughter caught one last glimpse of the suspect as they headed out to the parking lot.

"She said he was looking through his wallet, and kept pacing back and forth and started to go back in the bank and stop. She was watching him. He was right in front of our car. So it was like he was trying to work up the nerve to go back in the bank," she said.

SunTrust released a statement to CBS 17 that read:

Our primary focus and priority is on our teammate  and the others in the branch. We will be working with law enforcement on the matter.”

The bank is currently closed and it's not clear if it will re-open on Friday.

Anyone with information on Johnson’s whereabouts is asked to call Investigator Walsh at (919) 560-4440, ext.  29248 or Durham CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200.


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