Sheriff: Teen breaks in home, takes a shower and steals car
83-year-old woman was home at the time
A multi-agency manhunt is over. Deputies said they have arrested an armed teen wanted for breaking into several vehicles and a school in Lenoir County.
The latest incident happened Monday night. According to Lenoir County Sheriff Chris Hill, Curtis Darnell Williams Jr. is believed to be involved in a burglary at a home on Lightwood Knot Road, about a mile from Woodington Middle School in Lenoir County. The suspect allegedly stole money and a 2000 Toyota Camry from the home. The victim never came into direct contact with the suspect, Sheriff Hill said.
Hill says Williams was involved in a traffic accident at Richlands Road and Highway 17 near Jacksonville Tuesday morning. Williams was driving a stolen vehicle and was taken into custody, Sheriff Hill said. "Our suspect actually stayed at the traffic scene, he did not flee the traffic accident," said Hill.
Charles Griffith owns the home where the crashed car was stolen. His 83-year-old mother was in the home at the time. "She heard a lot of clamor, stuff like that, a lot of noise and she didn't think twice about it, so she didn't call the cops," said Griffith.
While at the home, Williams used a grill too cook dinner, "made himself at home inside the house, even took a shower," said Hill.
Investigators found two handguns in the stolen car, one of which was taken from a vehicle in Lenoir County, said Sheriff Hill.
Williams was wanted in Lenoir and Duplin Counties for a string of break-ins and larcenies of vehicles, according to investigators.
Williams is expected to face various burglary charges.
Prior to Monday night's burglary, Williams allegedly broke into another vehicle in Lenoir County and stole a handgun Monday morning.
Neighbors said they saw the car in the back of their property with the windows all fogged up and the doors locked. But moments later, the suspect jumped out of the passenger door, the neighbors said. He then allegedly ran into the woods as the neighbors chased after him.
The neighbors believe Williams may have been living on their property for a while because they found remains of a fire and food. The neighbors said they later discovered a half-empty box of bullets in the woods.
Sheriff Hill said investigators also suspect Williams to be connected to a break-in at Woodington Middle School Sunday night. Hill said they have surveillance video of the suspect going inside the school. But there is no word on how the suspect broke in or if anything was taken.
"We don't know a lot about this man. But from everything we've gathered, he may be experiencing some mental difficulties. He may be dangerous in that aspect," said Sheriff Hill.
A helicopter, canine units, and law enforcement agents from several counties searched for Williams on Monday. Sheriff Hill said there were more than 35 agents scanning the Woodington area. But the heat was taking a toll.
"All our crews are exhausted. We've got one that went to the hospital with possible heat exhaustion. You have to understand it’s hot and it’s humid out here, and they're wearing ballistic vests," Sheriff Hill said.
Sheriff Hill said a resource officer will be at Woodington Middle School Tuesday and classes will continue as normal.
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