Man charged in 12 armed robberies

Holdups started Dec. 3; half were in a 1½-mile stretch of University Avenue

Posted: February 5, 2018 at 1 a.m.

A Little Rock man, now charged in a string of 12 armed robberies, was arrested Tuesday less than a half mile from several of the University Avenue businesses robbed during the crime streak, according to the city's Police Department.

Terry Dewan Tate Jr., 19, was arrested on warrants related to the Jan. 18 robbery of a Little Rock video-game store, according to an arrest report. After he was taken into custody, the report says, Tate admitted to 11 more armed robberies.

Police records show half of the dozen robberies occurred on South University Avenue along a 1½-mile stretch.

Tate was arrested Tuesday about 6:30 p.m. at West 32nd Street and Fairmont Drive, less than a half mile from a number of the South University Avenue businesses robbed, authorities said.

In total, he is charged with 12 counts of aggravated robbery and 12 counts of theft of property.

The dozen Little Rock robberies, all of which involved a firearm, spanned from Dec. 3 through Tuesday -- the same day Tate was taken into custody.

The first robbery occurred on the morning of Dec. 3 when a man entered the Shipley Do-Nuts at 2900 S. University Ave. and purchased a drink, according to a witness. The man produced a black handgun and demanded money from the register before reaching over the counter and taking the money, the witness said.

On Dec. 10, a gunman took money from Joseph's Discount Store at 1624 S. University Ave. A witness told police that the man approached the counter to buy a soda but displayed a handgun when the register drawer opened.

The next robbery was on Dec. 13, when a man robbed a gas station on Geyer Springs Road, according to the Police Department. Witnesses said a man entered the business, pointed a handgun at them and racked the gun's slide, the report says.

The robber left with an undisclosed amount of money, police said.

Three of the robberies Tate is charged with occurred from Dec. 22 through Dec. 28, including the holdups of a CVS Pharmacy and a Subway restaurant across the street from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Police say the armed robberies continued into 2018.

On Jan. 2, officers were called to the gas station at 3723 Cantrell Road at 8:07 p.m. for a report of a robbery, according to a police report. Eric Roller, who was working at the register, told police a man entered the store and asked to get a lighter. The report said Roller handed him a lighter, and the man gave him a $10 bill.

The man, according to police, pulled out a black handgun when Roller opened the cash register to make change. The robber demanded money and Roller began to get it, but instead the man leaned over the counter and started to grab the cash himself, the report says.

Police have also charged Tate in the robbery of a Game X Change on Jan. 18. In that incident, a store employee told police that a man entered the store and browsed for a while. During the robbery, the man asked an employee to exchange five $1 bills for a $5 bill, and again the man pulled a black handgun once the register was opened.

The robber took two iPhones, a PlayStation game, as well as cash, the report said.

The last of the 12 armed robberies occurred Tuesday. Officers responded at 1:47 a.m. to a robbery report at a gas station at 10105 Interstate 30, according to a report.

A witness told police that a man entered the store and pointed a black handgun at him. The robber demanded all the money from both registers. The robber also took three packs of cigarettes before leaving the store, the report said.

Preliminary Little Rock police data show there have been 22 robbery incidents from the beginning of the year to Jan. 22, a 31 percent decrease compared with the same time period in 2017.

A search of public online court records indicates that Tate has not previously been convicted of a felony in Pulaski County.

NW News on 02/05/2018