Two women hurt in robberies

June 23, 2008 5:14:28 PM PDT
A bold and brazen thief has two Durham neighborhoods on edge.

The home invasions happened in broad daylight within five miles of each other. And in both cases the suspect barged his way into the homes and roughed up the victims.

One woman was dragged up a staircase, another shoved to ground.

The person responsible is still on the loose. A man --eyewitnesses in both neighborhoods describe as clean cut.

In the first case, the man claiming to be lost knocked on a door; the trusting homeowner offered her phone.

That's when he shoved her into a pantry room not realizing there was a back door.

He left her bruised and bloodied, but not before stealing her jewelry and other items.

Just five miles down the road, another violent story; Angela Whipple's family was in the backyard when a white SUV circled the block.

"And he just walked straight into the house," Whipple said.

The man came through an open garage door where he confronted Whipple's mother. The two struggled when he tried to drag her upstairs.

"We just thank God that she had the forethought to just drop to the ground and started screaming, she said there was no way she was going upstairs with that man," Whipple said. "It was that fight or flight kind of thing, she was in a fight for her life she felt like."

Whipple and her neighbors say they have become more security conscious, locking their doors and windows, turning away strangers.

"It's very scary; the thought that he might come back is something that we've thought about," Whipple said.

Durham Police and Sheriff's investigators are comparing notes to see if both cases are related.

Investigators say they cannot stress enough how important it is to keep unattended doors and windows locked.


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