Court documents show new details on Portsmouth robbery suspects

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jun 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-18 07:12:12-04

Portsmouth, Va. – After two arrests, at least fifteen other robberies are still under investigation in Portsmouth.

Just last week, one of the two suspects, Pharoah Atum, 34, died from an attempted suicide in his jail cell. Portsmouth Police say they are positively linking him to nine other robberies, but will not say which ones.

However, court documents obtained by NewsChannel 3 may tell more of a story.

Back on May 15th, documents show that an officer attempted to stop a man who was in a car, trespassing behind a Portsmouth gas station. The man ran away and apparently threw three cell phones on the ground.

The next day, documents say a suspect in a Family Dollar armed robbery matched the same description, which was a black man, in a green camouflage t-shirt and hat. Witnesses also reported tattoos on his neck and forearm and that he was wearing sunglasses.

Portsmouth Police would not say if Atum is a suspect in the Family Dollar robbery. They also would not release a booking photo of Atum for investigative purposes.

Police do say a valuable tip is what led to Atum’s arrest on June 1st. Court documents state that police showed photos of Atum to the victims in these robberies, and they identified him as the suspect.

Two days later, he attempted suicide, then died from those injures on June 9th. Documents say that Atum hung himself in his jail cell using his bed sheet.

While his death will keep him from being charged, Portsmouth Police say they are still actively investigating his role in other robberies.