Police end man’s crime spree

Shamir Watson.JPG

Shamir Antorrio Watson


Staff Writer

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A one-man crime spree in Rocky Mount came to an end late last week with the capture of a career stick-up man.

Shamir Antorrio Watson, 37, was charged by the Rocky Mount Police Department with nine criminal counts, including being a habitual violent offender, armed robbery, larceny of a motor vehicle, breaking and entering and hit-and-run.

Watson, also known by his street name Mirror, stands accused of knocking over two local Dollar General stores, a Circle K and a Fuel Doc on Cokey Road.

“He's been hitting us pretty hard,” said police spokesman Cpl. Brad Summerlin.

The habitual felon charge might end Watson's long streak of catch and release. In and out of prison since he was a teenager, Watson was released in May 2003 after his first serious stretch and arrested a couple of months later. He was released again June 4, 2006, and arrested on Aug. 3, 2006. After years behind bars, Watson was released April 15, 2013, only to be arrested again on June 3, 2013.

Watson went to prison that time on convictions of robbery and kidnapping because a diligent police officer nabbed him shortly after a robbery at a Kangaroo Express on West Thomas Street. An investigation led to additional charges of robbing the Fuel Doc on Cokey Road, according to archived reports.

After another four years in prison, Watson was released a couple of weeks ago, on Feb. 3. He was picked up late last week, charged once again with robbing the same Fuel Doc. He doesn't travel far to commit his crimes: Watson's last known address was 515 Cokey Road, just half a mile from his favorite target, the Fuel Doc.

Whenever that store gets robbed, police check to see whether Watson's been released from prison, according to a police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Watson's capture demonstrates the renewed spirit of cooperation between local authorities.

“It was a great collaborative effort,” Summerlin said. “It was great police work. We knew who he was — it was a matter of locating him.”

Police picked Watson up in Sharpsburg with the help of the Nash County Sheriff's Office and the Sharpsburg Police Department.

He was apprehended Thursday night but taken to the hospital due to injuries he sustained prior to being taken into custody, Summerlin said.

Authorities typically don't arrest suspects needing medical attention until after they are treated so the agency doesn't become responsible for the suspect's medical bills.

Watson is being held without bond in the Nash County Detention Center on a probation violation and $533,000 for his current charges. He also has an outstanding warrant in Pitt County. While a fugitive, he was considered armed and dangerous.

Watson's long criminal record includes convictions of robbery with a dangerous weapon, violating his parole, robbery, selling drugs, larceny from a person, assault on a public official, drug possession, resisting police, breaking and entering vehicles and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to the N.C. Public Safety Department.

His first conviction as an adult was in 1997 when he was 16. His juvenile records are sealed.