LUMBERTON — A city man has been arrested in Durham after robbing one Lumberton homeowner at knife-point and kidnapping another at gunpoint, according to a statement from the Lumberton Police Department.
Yatsen Boblee Baptiste was arrested Friday in Wake County driving a car stolen after the kidnapping, the statement said.
Baptiste, 20, of North Elm Street, was brought back to Lumberton that day and charged with separate break-ins of homes on Barker and West 16th streets and with robbing and kidnapping a man who lives on 15th Street.
“This type of person, through his apparent enjoyment in inflicting pain and suffering, certainly gives new meaning to the phrase ‘menace to society,’” Erich Hackney, investigator for the District Attorney’s Office, said in a letter to the editor of The Robesonian that will be published Wednesday.
According to the statement, Baptiste, armed with a knife, robbed Judith Hester of jewelry and electronics at her Barker Street home. Hackney said when Baptiste demanded she drive him to an ATM, she was able to escape to a neighbor’s home for help.
The same day, Frank Arokiasamy reported that someone had broken into his home on West 16th Street and stolen checks. At about 5:13 a.m. Friday, Herbert Lewis was robbed at gunpoint on 15th Street. Baptiste then took Lewis to Fayetteville, “released him safely,” and kept his car, the Police Department statement said.
Capt. Terry Parker, Lt. Harold Jackson and Detectives David Williford, Blake Harrell, Dereck Evans and Chuck Leavitt were able to determine that the same person had robbed Hester and Lewis, said Hackney, who interviewed both victims.
Baptiste is charged with two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, felony larceny, first-degree burglary and possession of a stolen vehicle. He was also served with an unrelated outstanding order for arrest.
He is being held at the Robeson County Detention Center under a $256,000 secured bond.
“The investigation continues as investigators are tying up some loose ends and still attempting to recover additional property,” the statement said. ” … The Lumberton Police Department would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Robeson County District Attorney’s office’s investigator Mr. Erich Hackney, and the Durham Police Department for their assistance concerning these investigations.”
According to Hackney, Baptiste was recently placed on parole following convictions of burglary and larceny. He was served Monday with a parole violation, Hackney said, and a hearing within a week will determine what discipline he will face for violating his parole.
“This guy has a history of it,” Hackney said.
Anyone with information should call Detective Williford at the Lumberton Police Department 910-671-3845.