Cumberland County man accused of breaking in, beating up homeowners

Thursday, August 16, 2018

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, NC (WTVD) -- A crime alert has been issued for a man that Cumberland County deputies' say is breaking into homes in the middle of the night.

Casey Earl Johnson has been the face of Crimestoppers Wanted Wednesday for weeks now. He was first wanted for car break-ins, but now investigators say he's graduated to homes, particularly in the Lakeland Subdivision off US-301 near Doc Bennett Road.

Keith Mentzer woke up to a blaring security alarm on July 10.

" I jumped up, grabbed my shoes and a bit of protection," said Mentzer.

Mentzer said he ran outside where he found Casey Johnson standing in his garage. Johnson had pried his way through the side door.

"I tried to order him to the ground. He informed me he wasn't doing that," said Mentzer.

Mentzer said Johnson tried to run away.

"I proceeded to run beside him, making some noise trying to prevent him from coming on my property again, " said Mentzer.

He never returned to the Mentzer's, but investigators said he did enter another home off Doc Bennett Road. The homeowner had just gotten home from work and found Johnson standing in her bathroom doorway.

"I was stunned thinking in my mind okay is he going to kill me? Rape me, what is he going to do? He pushes me out the way so I'm choking and hitting him. So he comes running down the hallway.," the homeowner told ABC11.

Once again, the suspect had a hard time getting away.

"He runs out and I chase him all the way down the street into the woods. We ran for about 11 minutes because I was on the phone with 911," the homeowner said.

According to the investigation reports Johnson made off with more than $8,000 worth of tools from one house. In the others he stole debit cards and small amounts of change.

But the big issue here is when he's choosing to make his move.

Cumberland County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Sean Swain told ABC11 that most break-ins occur between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. when people are not at home.

"When people do break in it is to steal property. They don't want confrontation. For this person breaking in at night, it is very concerning," said Swain.

If you know where Casey Johnson is, call Crimestoppers: (910) 483-TIPS.