Man arrested in connection with armed robberies of 6 Durham businesses

Durham County News

Elmer Guardado.

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A Durham man was charged in connection with six armed robberies of commercial businesses over a two-month period, police said.

Elmer Jose Mejia Guardado, 22, was arrested Jan. 3. The robberies happened between Oct. 27 and Dec. 23, police said.

The first robbery took place at La Central Market, which is located at 2022 Guess Rd. Police said that just before 7 p.m. on Oct. 27, three Hispanic men entered the market wearing Holloween masks. At least one of them had a pistol. One hopped over the counter and opened registers.

Just before 5 p.m. on Oct 31, two Hispanic men wearing masks entered the Tienda Mi Pueblo at 1000 N. Miami Blvd. At least one of them had a pistol. One jumped over the counter and emptied the registers, police said.

Then, on Dec. 14 at 5:16 p.m., two Hispanic men went to Tienda La Carniceria Marqueta located at 4701 Hillsborough Rd. One displayed a handgun and the two yelled in Spanish, “this is a robbery.” They then opened the registers and emptied them, police said.

The fourth robbery happened around 9:12 p.m. on Dec. 18. One Hispanic male wearing a gray hoodie and a black coat, black pants, and black ski mask walked into the Japan Express at 3409 Hillsborough Rd. He showed a black pistol and demanded money, taking an undisclosed amount of cash from the register, police said.

At 8:45 p.m. on Dec. 22, two Hispanic men entered the Alpaca at 302 Davidson Ave. One displayed a handgun. The other jumped the counter and tried to open the register, but couldn’t. The two then removed the entire register and fled, police said.

The sixth robbery happened the next day on Dec. 23 at about 8:15 p.m. Two Hispanic males with their faces covered entered the Tienda Mi Tierra at 4226 Garrett Rd. One suspect had a large handgun and the other appeared to have a knife, police said. They made demands in Spanish, took money from the register, and fled the scene.

Durham police are still working on several leads from other robberies within the city limits. Additional charges are possible for Guardado and additional suspects.

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