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Durham Hispanic residents targeted in armed robberies of iPhones, cash

A series of armed robberies targeted Hispanic victims last month, the Durham Police Department said.

Police said no victims were seriously harmed in the incidents, which occurred in “parking lots of apartment complexes with a large number of Hispanic residents,” and usually involved two or three suspects.

Crime data on showed six armed robberies were reported in Durham on the morning of Aug. 20, the most of any day in the last month.

According to a police report, a 39-year-old Hispanic man reported on Aug. 20 that one or more robbers armed with a handgun stole an iPhone, $400 in cash, two credit cards and his wallet. The crime occurred at an apartment complex on Lednum Street in North Durham.

A 40-year-old Hispanic man reported being robbed at gunpoint of an iPhone and $700 in cash at a nearby apartment complex on New Castle Road about 30 minutes later the same morning. The six robberies were all reported in an 82-minute span from 5:18 to 6:40 a.m.

The crime spree marked an unusual spike after the number of reported robberies in the city fell 36 percent in the first half of 2018 compared with the same period a year earlier. Sharp drops in robberies and aggravated assaults accounted for most of a 28 percent decline in violent crime in the first six months this year.

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