City of Durham, NC

11/13/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/13/2019 08:09

Durham Teen Charged in Connection with Robbery and Shooting

Durham Teen Charged in Connection with Robbery and Shooting

A Durham has been arrested and charged with shooting a man and robbing him Tuesday afternoon near Angier Avenue and Laurel Avenue. The teen - 17-year-old Joseph Demario Cates - was arrested after a stolen car he was driving crashed into a police car on North Alston Avenue at Geer Street.

The incident started around 1 p.m. when a 19-year-old man met up with two men to buy a cell phone through OfferUp. During the meeting, the victim was robbed at gunpoint of his wallet, phone and his vehicle, a 2007 Toyota Camry. The victim was pistol-whipped and shot once during the robbery. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

Officers spotted the stolen vehicle a short time later and attempted to stop it on North Alston Avenue. The driver, identified as Cates, sped away from officers on North Alston. According to investigators, the northbound Camry went into the southbound lanes of North Alston Avenue, ran a red light and crashed into a patrol car going eastbound on Geer Street. The Camry collided with the passenger side of the 2018 Dodge patrol car, causing it to spin around and get hit a second time by the Camry. The officer, who was not involved in the chase, had the green light when the crash occurred.

The officer was taken to the hospital to be checked out. Cates, who was not injured, was arrested at the scene of the crash. Cates is charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injuries, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and conspiracy to commit robbery. Cates was placed in Durham County Jail under a $150,000 bond. The second robbery suspect has not been identified.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

The Durham Police Department offers the following crime prevention tips with respect to Internet buy/sell transactions:

  • Be cautious and trust your instincts. If something does not feel right, leave
  • Meet in a public place
  • Meet during daylight hours
  • Tell a friend or family member where you are going
  • Take a friend with you, if possible
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash
  • Do not divulge personal information
  • Be wary of last minute changes in the meeting location
  • Save any and all communications with the seller/buyer (text messages, emails, voicemails, etc.)