A meeting that was set up to buy six used cellphones in a gas station parking lot turned into a $2,600 robbery instead, followed by a chase that briefly locked down Apex High School on Tuesday afternoon, police said.
It took police about 40 minutes to find and arrest four suspects – two Wendell-area residents, a Raleigh man and Bryan Elliot Beatty Jr., the son of former state Public Safety Secretary Bryan Beatty.
The incident began about 3:20 p.m., Capt. Ann Stephens said, when four men came up to a man at the station at 1410 W. Williams St. The man had arranged to buy six cellphones listed in a Craigslist ad online, she said.
Instead, the men he met took his wallet with $2,600 in cash and his own cellphone, police said.
Shortly after the robbery, an Apex officer saw the car in which the robbers had fled, and he and Wake County sheriff’s deputies stopped it on the westbound side of U.S. 64 near Laura Duncan Road, Stephens said.
Three of the men surrendered there, and one ran into woods near the high school, which was locked down for about 30 minutes, she said.
The following were charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and felony conspiracy:
▪ Beatty Jr., 23, of 2400 Millstone Harbour Drive in Raleigh.
▪ Jordan Anthony Gray, 18, of 6297 Stag Trail near Wendell.
▪ Safari Malik Greene, 16, of 208 Fox Run Drive near Wendell.
▪ Javon Tyrell Williams, 22, of 2605 Alabaster Court in Raleigh.
Beatty was being held without bail. He had been paroled from state prison June 23 following convictions of robbery with a dangerous weapon in 2012 and assault with a deadly weapon in 2011. Records show he was put on probation, which was revoked in March, resulting in his return to prison until his release.
Beatty was wearing a parolee’s GPS ankle bracelet when arrested, Stephens said.
Greene, Gray and Williams were held on $250,000 bail each.
Beatty’s father is now a member of the N.C. Utilities Commission. He had been a State Bureau of Investigation agent and was SBI director from October 1999 to January 2001.
In 2001, he was named secretary of the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety and held that post until 2009.