Durham man charged with armed robbery of cellphone store

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham police have arrested and charged a man with armed robbery after they say he robbed a Boost Mobile cellphone store.

Police responded to robbery calls at the store located at 2230 N. Roxboro St. around 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Victims told officers that a man armed with a rifle robbed the business of cash and a customer of his wallet. The man was seen leaving the scene in a gray Nissan Rogue, after which officers were given a description of the vehicle.

A short time later, an officer attempted to stop a vehicle matching the description near the intersection of Westgate Drive and Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard, but the driver, later identified as Willie Lee Collins, 34, of Durham sped away as the officer approached the vehicle.

The officer lost sight of Collins on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard.

A few minutes later, another officer spotted the same vehicle on N.C. 147 and attempted to stop it.

Police say Collins crashed into a guard rail as he was attempting to take the off-ramp onto U.S. 15-501.

Collins was arrested after a brief chase by Durham police officers. He was charged with two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony fleeing to elude arrest in a motor vehicle, larceny of a motor vehicle, misdemeanor child abuse, and a parole violation.

He was placed in the Durham County Jail without bond. Officers recovered a large, undisclosed amount of cash from the vehicle.

 A woman and a young child inside the vehicle were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

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