Man charged in 2 murders in Durham linked to string of armed robberies, violent carjacking, police say

Durham County News

Mario Blanding. (Courtesy of Durham police)

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A man already behind bars on two murder charges was linked to several robberies and a violent carjacking in Durham, police said Thursday.

Mario Blanding, 33, had been arrested on Feb. 18 in Durham for shooting and killing two men on Feb. 3, police said.

Since then, police connected Blanding to a rash of armed robberies.

The first happened on Feb. 9 along the 1900 block of Holloway Street. The victim told police he was getting into his car when a man pointed a gun at him. The suspect, believed to be Blanding, fired several shots, hitting the victim once in the leg. Blanding is charged with attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, and first-degree kidnapping.

Then, on Feb. 17, a man entered the One Stop Food Mart at 1103 North Miami Boulevard just before 7 a.m. He was wearing a mask. He pointed a gun at an employee and demanded money. Blanding was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Later that day at 11:18 p.m., Blanding is accused of going into the Family Fare at 106 West Cornwallis Road and asking for cigarettes, then pulling a gun and demanding money from an employee. He was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon in relation to that.

Finally, on Feb. 18 at 3:50 a.m., police said Blanding entered the Circle K at 2322 East N.C. 54. He pulled a gun on an employee and demanded money. He was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Blanding is being held at the Durham County Jail on no bond.

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