Police think a Cary man who was killed in a shootout with sheriff’s deputies in Florida this month was partially responsible for a string of robberies in North Raleigh several days earlier.
Phillip Byron O’Shea of Duchess Drive in Cary was killed May 12 during a shootout with Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies in Jupiter, Fla., where he was thought to have robbed a bar and shot at deputies and hit a police dog, according to the Palm Beach Post. O’Shea was a native of West Palm Beach.
Raleigh police think O’Shea, 46, may have been the person behind a skeleton mask who stole $500 at the Super 8 Motel on Holly Ridge Drive, off Glenwood Avenue, on the evening of May 2, according to search warrants made public this week. Authorities think he also may have been involved in several other robberies of businesses in North Raleigh and Cary that occurred in the days before and after the motel robbery.
Police say their case against O’Shea was helped because his alleged accomplice, Kyle Robert Fedus, 29, of 8621 Neuse Club Lane in Raleigh, was wearing an ankle monitor that tracked his movements. On May 11, Fedus was charged with one felony count of robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the Super 8 robbery, according to police spokesman Laura Hourigan.
Witnesses told police a man wearing a skeleton mask pointed a gun at the motel clerk, jumped over the counter and took money from the cash register. The next day, police were called to three more armed robberies on Capital Boulevard that happened within minutes of each other, starting at 9:12 p.m., the last at a Dunkin Donuts at 8401 Capital Blvd.
Security video from the doughnut shop showed a man wearing a skeleton mask and holding a handgun that was similar to the weapon used in the Super 8 robbery, according to the search warrants.
The security video also showed the bandit leaving the Dunkin Donuts in a Dodge Dart. Investigators issued a description of the vehicle, and on May 10 a patrol officer spotted it and learned that it was registered to Fedus, who was wearing a global positioning system ankle monitor as a condition of his probation.
Police confronted Fedus the next day. According to the search warrant, he confessed to driving the Dodge Dart used in the robbery and told police that O’Shea was his accomplice.
Police reviewed the history of the ankle monitor Fedus was wearing, which placed him at the Super 8 Motel a minute before and after the robbery, when he went back his apartment, according to the search warrants.
The ankle monitor also recorded a visit Fedus made to O’Shea’s home in Cary. Investigators obtained a second search warrant for O’Shea’s home, where they found two masks and a global positioning system. They also took a shirt, an electronic tablet and an unnamed substance from the home.
On May 12, police arrested Zachary Mark Wohlman, 30, who was identified by Fedus as O’Shea’s brother. Fedus told investigators that the siblings were responsible for the robberies on Capital Boulevard, as well as the armed robbery of a Circle K store on April 26 and the May 4 robbery of an Extended Stay America, both in Cary, according to a search warrant made public Thursday.
Witnesses told police that a man wearing a skeleton mask walked into the convenience store, pointed a handgun at a clerk and demanded cash and cigarettes. A man wearing a bandana over his face and brandishing a handgun walked into Extended Stay America, pointed the weapon at the clerk, jumped over the counter and took money from the cash register, according to the search warrant.
Wohlman was released on the day of his arrest after posting a $1,000 bond, a jail spokesman said Thursday.
Fedus is being held in the Wake County jail in lieu of $70,000 bail, a jail spokesman said.