Alleged serial robber faces judge

WAKE COUNTY The judge referred to 18-year-old Steven Sylvester as a "danger to the community."

Sylvester is charged with committing 11 armed robberies in the capital city over a two month period.

Police say he is responsible for robberies at convenience stores and restaurants that began in October, when the first hold-up happened on Capital Boulevard.

Less than a week later, some one robbed a Spring Forest Road business, then a business on Capital Boulevard the next day, and on Halloween.

Two weeks later in November, Sylvester allegedly struck five times in a week --twice on Capital Boulevard, once each on Wake Forest and Six Forks Road, then on New Bern Avenue.

The last two robberies were on Dec. 4 at a New Bern Avenue restaurant and a Creedmoor Road gas station.

In court, Sylvester was relaxed when he asked for a lower bond.

"Is there any way I can get a bond reduction?" he asked.

His calm demeanor is a far cry from what was captured on surveillance video during some of the armed robberies.

In each, the robber threatened employees. During a Subway restaurant robbery, the suspect pistol whipped a woman.

"I'm not entertaining a bond reduction today, sir --absolutely not," Wake District Court Judge Jane Gray said. "I find you to be a danger to the community. You're on probation and these new charges arise."

Judge Gray left Sylvester's bond at $2 million and says it's, "believed to be gang related by the police."

Two other suspects also appeared in connection with the robbery charges, although police say Sylvester pulled off all but one of the holdups by himself.

The judge also refused to lower the bonds of $150,000 each for the co-defendants --20-year-old Dexter Maxwell and 21-year-old Jay Borrero.

None of the accused are strangers to the courtroom. And one, who has served prison time for cocaine charges, was no stranger to Judge Gray.

"I was your judge wasn't I?" Gray asked. "I recognize you."

Eyewitness News has also learned that the state probation office had issued a warrant for Sylvester last month for failing to meet with his probation officer.

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