Be Careful Who You Call Friend

Yesterday afternoon around 4:39PM, officers from District E-18 (Hyde Park) responded to a call for a robbery in progress at 869 River Street/Hyde Park Auto Mall. On arrival, officers spoke to the victim who reported that she had just been robbed at gunpoint by a male who fled the scene.  The victim further elaborated by telling officers that she had told a male friend to meet her at the dealer because she planned on buying a car. The victim reported that she arrived at the dealer, her male friend was already there and she got out of her car and got in his car. The victim then told officers that a short while after getting in her friend’s car, a male suspect approached her in his car, displayed a gun and took her purse which had a large sum of money because she had the money to purchase a car in her purse. The victim stated that her friend got out of the car and approached the suspect after he took her purse but the suspect fled the scene with her male friend following behind.

After telling officers her story, the victim told officers that she felt that she may have been “set up” by her friend because she had been unable to contact him since the robbery. The victim also stated to officers that her friend was the only one who knew that she would have a large amount of cash on her person.  After hearing this from the victim, officers were able to find a witness who told them that the suspect and the victim’s friend arrived at the dealer together in the same car shortly before the victim’s arrival. 

Officers received a description of the suspect and the victim’s friend and where the victim’s friend turned suspect is known to frequent. Officers also received a description of the suspect’s car and possible whereabouts. Officers responded to the area where the suspect is known to frequent, and there found a car matching the description of his car which was confirmed to belong to the suspect through registration query.  Around the same time that officers were investigating this incident, a call to 911 came in which the caller reported seeing an individual matching the suspect description walking through a nearby yard with a gun in hand.

Armed with this information, officers responded to the area and set up a perimeter.  After setting up this perimeter, officers were able to find the suspect in the rear of a back yard. After placing the suspect under arrest, officers responded to the dealer and were able to view video surveillance showing the robbery suspect arriving at the dealer with the victim’s “friend.”  

The victim’s ”friend” suspect, Norman Smith, 22 of Burlington was arrested and charged with Armed  Robbery. The incident remains under investigation in an attempt to locate the other suspect.