Police investigating armed robbery, attempted carjacking on NC State campus

Monday, August 22, 2022
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The suspect tried to drive away with the car but was unable to operate a manual transmission vehicle.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- University police at NC State reported an armed robbery at the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity house on Sunday night.

The alert went out to students at around 11 p.m. The incident happened on Avent Ferry Road in Raleigh.

Officials say two suspects pointed a gun at the victim and demanded the alumni member of the fraternity exit their car. The suspect then tried to drive away with the car but was unable to operate a manual transmission vehicle.

"Basically, dude knocked on the door with a gun, put a gun to his head, they occupy the car, took his phone and ended up they didn't know how to drive a stick-shift and fled the scene," said N.C. State freshman Jake Zilles.

ABC11 spoke to another fraternity brother about the robbery. "I think he's doing all right. Probably pretty shaken up by it. But we've heard back, he probably got inside the house last night," Preston Hinson said.

Lawson Godwin, another fraternity member, heard this about the victim. "They saw somebody coming up and they didn't really know who it was. They thought it was like, one of our brothers or something," he said.

Zilles added: "We're just glad we have all of our brothers here looking after us."

The suspect had fled the scene with the victim's cellphone before stealing another car later on Gorman Street.

There is no suspect information available at this time other than campus police said the suspects were wearing "COVID-style" masks.

"This type of thing rarely happens like this," said Chief Dan House, of N.C. State Campus Police.

House said There have been two other incidents that university police think are connected. There was an armed robbery at the beginning of the month at a Gorman Street gas station and another scare outside of the Food Lion on Avent Ferry Road.

University police are working with Raleigh police officers on the cases.

"I dropped my daughter off yesterday at school, so I'm feeling the exact same concerns they are," House said of students. "Obviously, this should be the safest environment someone should come to, so we're trying to ensure that happens."

Police are stepping up patrols on campus.

Rosa Smith and her rising high school senior daughter were touring N.C. State's campus. Smith, who lives in Charlotte, said she wasn't surprised about the carjacking attempt but appreciated that campus police are taking immediate action.

"It makes me feel real good, being that she is considering this as her school of choice," Smith said.

House urged students to stay vigilant, be aware of their surroundings and not to walk alone at night.