WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WTVD) -- Wake Forest Police have made two arrests in the violent robbery of a 66-year-old woman shopping in Wake Forest outside a popular shopping center Tuesday afternoon.
Quavon Henderson, 18, and Robert Dylan West, 21, were taken into custody. Henderson is charged with common law robbery, conspiracy to commit common law robbery, and assault inflicting serious injury.
West, who authorities said was the getaway driver, was charged with common law robbery and conspiracy to commit common law robbery.
Both are being held at the Granville County Jail.
They are also charged with the robbery of an 85-year old woman
in the parking lot of a Butner Dollar Tree as well as several similar incidents.
The woman told police the robber hit her from behind and took her purse.
It happened around 4 p.m. at Wake Forest Crossing on Capital Boulevard, in the parking lot near the TJ Maxx.
The woman went to the hospital to be treated for injuries. She is expected to fully recover.
She described the suspect as a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. He drove away in a silver-colored sedan.
"Wake Forest, we really think of being a safe community," Wake Forest Public Information Officer Bill Crabtree. "It's very uncommon for something like this to happen here. At the same time, it really reinforces that crime can happen anywhere."
Shoppers were surprised by the violent crime.
"I'm a little surprised because I know the security here is usually pretty good, and I've never seen anything like this before. So I'm quite shocked," said Kathy Kelly, a shopper. "I'm going to have to be more careful when I'm walking back to my car for sure. And I usually wear my bag cross-body, so I'll have to make sure to do that from now on, too.
Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Wake Forest Police Department at (919) 554-6150.
In the meantime, officers encourage everyone in the area to be vigilant and mindful. They suggest taking the following precautions in order to reduce your chance of becoming a victim:Always be aware of your surroundings and the people who are around you. Opportunistic thieves have demonstrated a propensity to target pedestrians using handheld electronic devices. This is because our ability and preparedness to respond to potential danger is reduced when listening to music or looking down at our phones.If you have a cell phone, carry it with you when walking or driving and be prepared to use it to call 911 for help. Be prepared to give your exact location to the emergency operator.Don't carry large amounts of cash. Never display the cash you carry.Keep your purse closed and carry it securely under your arm. Never place your purse on a counter, leave it in your shopping cart or let your children carry it.Avoid dark or secluded areas where you could become a crime victim. Park in well-lit areas as close as possible to an entrance.Put your packages in the trunk. Do not place packages on the seat or in the floor of your vehicle in view of prying eyes.Always lock your car, even if it's in your own driveway; never leave your motor running.If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open store or restaurant or a lighted house. Don't be afraid to yell for help.Make sure you have your key out as you approach your door.Do everything you can to keep a stranger from getting into your car or to keep a stranger from forcing you into his or her car.If someone tries to rob you, give up your property-don't give up your life.If you are robbed or assaulted, report the crime to the police immediately. Try to describe the attacker accurately. Your actions can help prevent someone else from becoming a victim.