Police: Robbers pepper-sprayed, punched jewelry store workers

Thomas Charles Porter and Darren Lumus Edward Hart Jr. (Mugshots provided by: Mebane Police)

Thomas Charles Porter and Darren Lumus Edward Hart Jr. (Mugshots provided by: Mebane Police)

MEBANE, N.C. — Police have arrested two men in the attempted armed robbery of an Alamance County jewelry store.

Thomas Charles Porter, 20, of Durham. and Darren Lumus Edward Hart Jr., 22, of Oxford, were arrested Wednesday. The two are accused in an incident that was reported just before noon Friday at Ashley and Co. Jeweler’s on Millstead Drive.

Employees told police the suspects walked inside the store and appeared to be browsing before one of them pulled out a handgun and started making demands. Police say an altercation between the suspects and employees followed, after which the suspects left empty-handed in a silver 2002 Dodge Intrepid. One of the employees was pepper-sprayed and another was punched in the face during the altercation.

Porter is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, attempted armed robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault inflicting serious injury, two counts of assault by pointing a gun, second-degree kidnapping and assault on a female. He was also served with three outstanding warrants for felony probation violations. He was assigned a $132,000 bond.

Hart is charged with attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, second-degree kidnapping and assault by pointing a gun. He received a $125,000 bond.

The suspects are being held in the Alamance County Jail awaiting their first court appearances.

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