Elderly man holds suspect after being struck with lantern

Man holds down break-in suspect until deputies arrive

CARTERET COUNTY - A 70-year-old Carteret County man caught a woman breaking into his home, so he held down the suspect until deputies arrived, said investigators.

The Carteret County Sheriff's Office said 26-year-old Amy Marie Mabes broke into a home on River Bluff Road, just north of Morehead City, at about 3:45 p.m. Saturday.

But the man who lives at the home, 70-year-old David Seaton, saw Mabes stealing items from inside his garage, deputies said.

That morning, Seaton was working on his hobby train set in his garage.

"I spent the morning cleaning up as much as I could, vacuuming it up," Seaton said.

He went inside for about an hour for lunch. When he came out, Seaton says he saw a purse by the table his trains were on.

"I came over here and I saw there were legs going that way." Seaton saw a person was under the table.

Seaton then confronted the suspect, who hit Seaton in the head with a glass and metal lantern, said investigators.

"She grabbed the lantern and that's when we fought," Seaton said. "I still had the phone in my hand trying to talk to the 9-1-1 operator and fend her off at the same time."

Despite bleeding from his head, Seaton caught Mabes and held her down until authorities arrived, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Deputies immediately arrested Mabes and found stolen jewelry and coins on her, said investigators. The suspect's home is about a mile from the victim's residence, and deputies believe she traveled on foot.

Mabes has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, possession of stolen goods, and possession of burglary tools. She was placed in the Carteret County Jail under a $40,000 bond and was scheduled for her first court appearance Monday.

Seaton was taken to Carteret General Hospital to get treated for his injuries.

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