‘It felt like forever,’ says employee at 1 of 23 businesses Durham police say 1 man robbed

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Omar Guzman was returning to work at Boost Mobile off University Drive in Durham after picking up food earlier this year. He got inside the store, then realized something was wrong.

“I saw the girl [his co-worker] with her hands up, facing the wall.”

He said he then saw a man standing there with his hands in his pocket and realized it was a robbery. The man, Guzman said, immediately took off running when he arrived.

“Money was flying out of the sweater and everything,” Guzman said, adding that he saw a gun with the man.

A few miles away at the Cricket Wireless store on NC Highway 55, the manager, who asked to be anonymous, shared a similar story

“When I saw him, he was pointing at my face with a gun. He told me to get on the floor,” she said. “He had us here for a good four minutes. Literally, it felt like forever.”

Her store got hit three times by a robber this year, according to deputies. Guzman’s store got robbed twice.

The Durham Police Department said Wednesday, all those cases – and 18 others – were carried out by the same man. A police task force arrested Don Lee Johnson on a slew of charges Tuesday along Rochelle Street. Police also arrested another man, Desmun Sutton, who is facing some charges in the cases, as well.

Desmun Lamon Sutton and Don Lee Johnson Jr. (Durham Police Department)

The most recent robbery happened early Tuesday morning at a BP gas station on Holloway Street, police said.

“He had a gun in hand and pointed it at me,” said Walker, who was the attendant who was on duty at the time.

The nearly two-dozen cases date back to March. While deputies said no one was injured in the robberies – which all involved cash being stolen – the victims who were on duty at the time said they have struggled with returning to work.

The Cricket manager said she regularly brings her husband to the store with her.

“Just to kind of protect me,” she said. “It’s very scary.”

Guzman, likewise, said he’s glad to see charges in these cases.

“If he did it to us, did it to other stores, he was going to keep doing it,” Guzman said. “The only way they learn is to get caught.”

As of Wednesday night, Johnson and Sutton are being held in the Durham County Detention Center.

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