To the Editor,
Two fairly rare incidents occurred in Lumberton last week that have left two victims and their families devastated and shocked to the core.
The first happened Tuesday at 5 a.m. while most of us were sleeping comfortably in our homes. An intruder entered a house through the back door and robbed the homeowner at knife-point. After stealing the usual items that are sold to buy drugs — laptops, jewelry, cash, etc. — the intruder demanded that the victim drive to a local ATM for more cash. Remarkably, the victim escaped her house and ran across the street to her neighbor for help. The suspect chased her down but fled when the neighbor opened the door.
Even though our detective division was not made aware of the burglary until two days later, they immediately went to work. The next morning, a suspect robbed another local homeowner at gunpoint, kidnapped him, made him drive to a local ATM to withdraw cash, then forced the victim to drive to Fayetteville. Through the immediate and direct efforts of Capt. Terry Parker, Lt. Harold Jackson, Detectives David Williford, Blake Harrell, Derek Evans, Chuck Leavitt, Evan Whitley, the two cases were linked to the same suspect. Shortly thereafter, the Durham Police Department captured the suspect without incident.
All of these officers did a fantastic job and are to be commended. As is the norm, the suspect was just paroled from prison last month for, you guessed it, the same criminal activities, including common law robbery, breaking and entering and larceny. The suspect violated probation several times over the past year and, as usual, experienced little consequences for these violations.
I interviewed both victims for over eight hours and left each interview shaking my head in disbelief as to what people in our society are capable of. This type of person, through his apparent enjoyment in inflicting pain and suffering, certainly gives new meaning to the phrase “menace to society.” It’s just a shame someone like him can’t pick a house where the homeowner is prepared to do what is necessary to put a stop to this type of terrorism.
Bolt your doors, lock your windows, leave lights on outside and arm your security system. You never know who is next.
Erich Von Hackney
Robeson County District Attorney’s Office