Police say they caught a break in solving a series of armed robberies across the city last month when one of the suspects posted evidence of the crimes on his Facebook page.
Investigators say Ari Demitrius Everett of Fayetteville began posing with a large amount of money on his Facebook page less than an hour after the first robbery. Other photos showed him wearing a bandana that matched one worn during the robberies.
Police charged Everett, 22, and a second man, Kristopher Stewart, 22, of Raleigh, with six felony counts each of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Everett was also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, attempted robbery, false imprisonment and possession of stolen goods.
Raleigh detective T.R. Jackson described “a robbery pattern” that began April 17 at a convenience store in West Raleigh and ended April 28 in Fayetteville, where two men robbed a hotel and restaurant, according to a search warrant application filed Friday at the Wake County Clerk of Courts Office.
The first holdup on April 17 happened at Little Sue’s Mini Mart on Buck Jones Road in Raleigh. Witnesses told police that one of the bandits was a very light complexioned man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a bandana that obscured his face. The man stood about 5 feet 5 inches tall and was armed with a black revolver.
The second man stood about 6 feet 2 inches tall and was wearing a black sweater with a gray hoodie underneath.
More robberies followed: an April 20 holdup at Days Inn on Glenwood Avenue; an April 27 heist of Comfort Suites at Corporation Parkway and an April 29 incident at Super 8 on South Saunders Street, Jackson reported.
In each case, victims told police that one of the robbers was a short, light-complexioned man armed with a black revolver and wearing a blue bandana over his face. The suspect “fled each robbery with the cash drawer and currency,” Jackson wrote.
Jackson wrote that based on video surveillance he thinks the pair’s robbery spree ended April 30 in Fayetteville, where two men robbed a China 1 restaurant and a Wingate Inn. He noted that the two men who robbed the Fayetteville businesses fled in a white Chevrolet Impala “which was observed at two of the Raleigh robberies as well.”
On May 3, a victim during the Super 8 robbery contacted Jackson to say that a man with the Facebook name “Ari Demitrius El” looked like the person who had robbed him. Ari Demitrius El had posted a photo of himself wearing a bandana over the lower half of his face and holding a small black revolver. Jackson said the bandana and revolver appear to be the same ones used in the robberies.
As he reviewed the Facebook page, Jackson found that Everett admitted to being a member of the “Rolling 20s Crips” street gang and posted several other photographs of himself wearing the bandana matching the one used in the robberies.
Later that day, police had Everett under surveillance at a restaurant on Duraleigh Road where he was picked up by a man, later identified as Stewart, who was driving a white Chevrolet Impala. Jackson wrote that Stewart matched the description of the person with Everett during the robberies. The police arrested both men after following the Impala to Stewart’s home on Davie Street, near downtown.
Everett and Stewart are both being held without the benefit of bail at the Wake County jail, a spokeswoman said Friday.