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Press Release

Durham Man Who Kidnapped, Robbed Families Pleads Guilty

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of North Carolina
Faces Up to Life in Prison

Greensboro, N.C. – A man who kidnapped multiple people over a four-day period and forced them to withdraw money from ATMs and buy items for him pleaded guilty to federal kidnapping charges today, announced United States Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin for the Middle District of North Carolina.

Rollin Anthony Owens, Jr., 30, of Durham, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to two counts of kidnapping of a minor and one count of kidnapping, in front of the Honorable N. Carlton Tilley, Jr., United States District Judge for the Middle District of North Carolina.

According to court documents, on June 17, 2017, Owens kidnapped a father and his two small children, ages 4 and 18 months, as they were leaving Burch Avenue Park in Durham. Owens pulled out a gun and forced the father to drive to an ATM to withdraw money and to a convenience store to make purchases.

Court documents also indicate that Owens kidnapped two brothers from the parking lot of a residence in Durham on June 18, 2017. When one brother resisted, Owens pistol whipped him with a large gun and threw him in the trunk of one of the brother’s car. Owens then forced the other brother to drive the car to an ATM and withdraw money from both brothers’ accounts and to make a purchase at a convenience store.

Finally, on June 20, 2017, Owens kidnapped a man and woman and their two small children from their home in Durham. Owens knocked on the family’s door asking for money. After the father gave him money, Owens pulled out a gun, and forced the father, his wife, and two children, ages 4 and 2, into the family car. He then directed the father at gunpoint to drive to an ATM to withdraw money and to a Food Lion and convenience store to make purchases and attempt to get cash back. Owens’ crime spree finally ended when he forced the family to go to Target, where the father, while in the store purchasing items for Owens, was able to alert an employee to call the police. Durham Police Department officers apprehended Owens as he was leaving the store with more than $1,000 worth of merchandise.

The sentencing is set for June 15, 2018, at 2 p.m. in Greensboro. Each of the two counts of kidnapping of a minor carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and a maximum of life in prison. The last count of kidnapping carries a maximum sentence of life.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the United States Department of Treasury Office of Inspector General Task Force, and the Durham Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Kennedy Gates and Assistant United States Attorney Frank J. Chut, Jr. prosecuted the case.


Updated March 12, 2018