Teen suspect in 20 armed robberies in 6 days

11:12 PM, Jul 26, 2013   |    comments
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Demarcus Morris, 19, charged with 14 cts. of armed robbery
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  • NORCROSS, Ga -- Residents of Norcross and more than 20 armed robbery victims are breathing a sigh of relief after Gwinnett County Police made an arrest in those robberies. It happened because of new technology police are using, patrol car cameras that read license plates.

    Demarcus Andrew Morris, 19, is charged with 14 counts of Armed Robbery in ten of those robberies, Gwinnett County Police said he is a suspect in ten others. All 20 armed robberies happened in a six day period ending on July 18, 2013.

    Of all the victims in those robberies, no one is happier than Army Reservist Bobby Swanger. "I'm happy that I'm going to be alive and I'm going to make a full recovery and I'm happy that they got him," he said. "As far as I'm concerned it's a happy ending."

    Swanger was returning home from his security job on Thursday, July 18 at about 4:30am when a suspect approached him outside his pickup truck. "When I turned around he was already in my face with the gun about three feet away," he said. "He was already on me before I could react."

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    Swanger said the suspect asked him for his wallet, but he doesn't remember the next few seconds. "But I remember the bang and I remember being shot and it was very close quarters because I got some gunpowder burns," he said.

    Swanger said he started running up his driveway toward his house when he heard another shot and felt a bullet go through the back of his leg.

    Police said it was the 19th armed robbery of 20. They said the same suspect left Swanger's home and committed another robbery and that's what helped them catch Demarcus Morris. "The victim obtained a tag number from the suspect's vehicle," Corporal Jake Smith said.

    Feeling pressure to stop the serial robberies, Gwinnett County police saturated the Norcross neighborhood where they were occurring. An officer on patrol on Jimmy Carter Boulevard got lucky using the controversial license reading cameras. They picked up the suspect tag as Morris drove by the officer. "Within just a few minutes he was stopped and in custody without incident," Cpl. Smith said.

    Investigators are trying to figure out if other suspects were with Morris when he allegedly committed the 20 armed robberies.

    Bobby Swanger, who was the only victim who was shot, said he will make a full recovery.

    You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kgrowson

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