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Man charged with robbery after phone sale turns into heist

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Jaquay McKay Hassell

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From staff reports

Friday, February 22, 2019

Police have arrested one robbery suspect and are searching for another after what was supposed to be a smartphone sale turned into an armed robbery. 

Jaquay McKay Hassell, 17, of the 1400 block of River Road, Hickory Village Mobile Home Park, was arrested Friday and charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, Officer Barbara Morgan of the Elizabeth City Police Department said in a press release. 

Hassell was confined at Albemarle District Jail in lieu of a $50,000 secured bond, Morgan said. Police are still searching for the second suspect, who has not been identified, she said. 

According to Morgan, officers responded to a report of an armed robbery in the vicinity of River and Weeksville roads around 2:20 p.m. Sunday. The victims told police that they had arranged with someone over the messaging app Facebook Messenger to purchase an iPhone Xs Max with gold finish for $400. According to the Apple website, a new iPhone Xs Max starts at $999.

The victims agreed to meet the unknown “seller” in the parking lot at Dollar General, at 1903 Weeksville Road. When they arrived, two black males approached their vehicle and asked to see the money for the phone, Morgan said. When the victims replied by asking to see the iPhone first one of the suspects produced a gun, she said.

According to Morgan, the suspects took $400, plus a cellphone, from the victims and then ran across Weeksville Road in the direction of Hickory Village Mobile Home Park, which is located off River Road. 

The victims described both suspects as black males dressed in all black and wearing hoodies, Morgan said. 

Because the investigation is ongoing, Morgan asked anyone with information about the robbery to call police at 335-4321, or the Elizabeth City Crime Line at 335-5555. Callers’ names and information provided will remain anonymous and confidential.

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