"It was awful for me. I haven't rested," said Kristina Johnson, the chief's wife. "It was terrifying."
It happened about 3 a.m. Kristina Johnson said she came face to face in her kitchen with the intruder, who has been identified as 23-year-old Xavier Howard Jones of Four Oaks. On her way to the bathroom, she noticed the space heater and air-conditioning unit were on, then she noticed the back door.
"I saw that our door was broken down and I could see Mr. Jones standing there. He made eye contact with me and I immediately took off running," she said.
After hearing his wife scream, Chief Johnson jumped up, grabbed his weapon and began clearing every room in the home in search of the burglar. He walked outside and noticed his wife's car door was open.
A burglar breaks into an Erwin man's home, but to the thief's surprise, the home belonged to the town's police chief. We'll hear from the chief and his wife tonight on #ABC11 pic.twitter.com/0eZb3gheJK— Akilah Davis (@DavisABC11) March 19, 2018
"He exited the vehicle and started approaching me and saying he was a federal agent. He put his hands up and said not to shoot him," Chief Johnson said. "I could hear my kids screaming and crying."
The chief said Jones was likely impaired at the time. He had apparently stolen the chief's pocket knife, car keys, badge, watch and some cash.
Johnson commended the Johnston County Sheriff's Office for arriving within just minutes after the 911 call.
The family has since repaired the back door and increased security around the home, but that doesn't take away the gut-wrenching feeling that still lingers.
"He took away the peace and security that my husband and I have in our own home," Kristina Johnson said.
Jones is facing multiple charges including first-degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, injury to property, breaking and entering a motor vehicle, larceny, and communicating threats.
He was placed in jail under a $160,000 bond.