Police chase car, arrest two in Durham armed robberies

Darence Qufon Pearson
Darence Qufon Pearson

Two men were being held on $1 million bail each for court appearances Monday on charges that they robbed two people at gunpoint in an area of west Durham where police say Hispanic residents have been plagued by holdups.

An officer from the police department’s High Enforcement Abatement Team arrested Darence Qufon Pearson, 25 of Durham and Raheem Norwood Bass, 22, of Hillsborough when he stopped a car that looked like one described by victims in two Saturday night robberies.

A man told police he had been robbed a little after 10 p.m. in the parking lot at an apartment complex in the 1200 block of Leon Street. Two men, who he said had a gun, drove off in a red car after the holdup, he told officers.

Shortly after, another man called police to say he had been robbed at gunpoint at an apartment complex at 311 S. LaSalle St. and saw the men leave in a red or burgundy Lincoln.

Officer D.M. Horton saw a speeding burgundy Lincoln turn onto Moreene Road a little later and chased down the car, which went onto Sherwood Drive.

After the arrests, police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said, officers who searched the car found a loaded handgun, cell phones and a wallet that belonged to one of the robbery victims.

Bass was charged with being a parole absconder after having been released from jail in April following his conviction a month earlier of felony larceny and breaking into or entering motor vehicles.

Bass and Pearson were both charged with two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of conspiracy to do that.