Gunman who crashed in chase robbed or tried to rob 3 Durham stores in 90 minutes, police say

Wake County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A gunman who robbed a Morrisville Food Lion and wrecked during a chase with police on Friday robbed two stores and tried to rob another in Durham within 90 minutes earlier this month, police say.

The Friday incident was reported around 2:50 p.m. as an armed robbery at Food Lion at 3609 Davis Drive, according to a news release from Morrisville police.

As soon as police arrived, they found the suspect’s SUV and started chasing the suspect, according to the news release.

Blanding in a photo from CCBI

The suspect crashed his SUV near the intersection of N.C. Highway 55 and Cornwallis Road in Durham, which is about 9.5 miles from the Food Lion.

Police officials said the thief went off the road and crashed into woods down a steep hill. The wrecked SUV appeared to have caught fire after the crash.

Kevin Blanding, 48, of Durham, was charged with armed robbery, felony fleeing to elude and possession of stolen property, Morrisville police said.

On Monday, Durham police said Blanding was a suspect in two armed robberies and an attempt on Jan. 18 within a 90-minute span.

The two armed robberies happened at the BP store at 4148 Chapel Hill Road at 12:28 p.m. and at Family Dollar at 401 East Lakewood Avenue at 1:29 p.m., Durham police said.

The attempted armed robbery was at Prestige Green Dry Cleaners at 1821 Hillandale Road at 12:11 p.m., according to Durham police.

No one was injured in the incidents. Blanding is now being held in the Wake County Jail on an $815,000 bond.

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