Passers-by catch robbery suspect before getaway in Chapel Hill

tgrubb@newsobserver.comJanuary 16, 2013 

Nasir Keshawn Brown

COURTESY CHAPEL HILL POLICE

— Police caught a downtown robbery suspect with a little help from passers-by Monday morning shortly after the crime was reported.

Police responded to a strong armed robbery around 10:30 a.m. near University Square on West Franklin Street. They arrived to find the male suspect had run from the scene in the direction of Granville Towers. However, the 20-year-old woman who said she had been robbed and several passers-by caught the suspect and kept him there until police could arrest him.

The woman told police a man snatched her iPhone 4S but did not use force against her, police spokesman Sgt. Joshua Mecimore said.

Nasir Keshawn Brown, 17, of 359 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill, was charged with felony larceny from a person and misdemeanor possession of stolen property.

He was held in the Orange County Jail under a secured bond.

Police Chief Chris Blue said they don’t advise people to put themselves in harm’s way unless it’s necessary.

“However, we are very appreciative of the citizens who intervened in this case. Their selfless actions helped us take the suspect into custody. I do want to remind citizens that calling 911 is the best safety tip of them all.”

Grubb: 919-932-8746

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