Durham, NC (01/06/2020) - Investigators from the Durham County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division (CID) have arrested Elmer Jose Mejia Guardado who is believed to be connected to almost two dozen robberies of Latino businesses throughout the Triangle.
On December 23, 2019 investigators with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office responded to an armed robbery at the Tortilleria Y Carniceria located on 3801 Wake Forest Hwy. During the robbery, two Latino males held an employee at gunpoint and demanded cash from the register. After emptying the register, the pair fled the scene on foot. The preliminary investigation led investigators to determine that the robbery was related to a series of armed robberies of small Latino-owned businesses starting with a robbery in the City of Durham on October 27, 2019.
Throughout the months of November and December, nearly two dozen robberies of Latino-owned businesses occurred in Durham, Chapel Hill, and Cary. Working in conjunction with our law enforcement partners in the Durham Police Department, Chapel Hill Police Department, Cary Police Department, and The State Bureau of Investigation, Elmer Mejia Guardado was determined to be a person of interest in these cases.
On January 3, 2019, investigators with DCSO's CID executed a search warrant at 1216B Naples Place in Durham. Mr. Guardado was taken into custody and a search of the premises was conducted. Inside of the apartment investigators located clothing used in numerous robberies, currency, a cash register, and numerous other items related to the commission of these crimes.
Mr. Guardado has been charged with multiple counts of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon. He is currently in the Durham County Detention Facility under a $500,000 secured bond. He will make a first appearance at 10:30 am today, January 6.
The investigation into these robberies is ongoing and additional charges related to these cases are expected.