Stolen car burns in Hertford County

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 31, 2004

JACKSON – A rather bizarre turn of events have left law officers in two counties searching for two suspects following an alleged Sunday night car jacking and a Monday car fire..

Chief Detective Daryl Harmon of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Tuesday that his department received a call around 7:57 p.m. Sunday from an Alexandria, VA man stating his car had been stolen at gunpoint.

Harmon said Deputy Corey Jackson responded to the call out of the Occoneechee Neck area, finding Samuel David shaken and distraught.

&uot;From what we understand,&uot; Harmon said. &uot;David stopped at the Race Track Service Station in Roanoke Rapids and was approached by a black male and black female asking for a ride.

&uot;He apparently agreed to give them a lift and they next stopped at the Blue Flame in Weldon where the male suspect reportedly made a phone call.

&uot;They next headed into Northampton County, crossing the Roanoke River bridge on US 158,&uot; Harmon added.

As Harmon stated, no foul had been committed until after crossing the bridge. &uot;At some point after they crossed the river, David reported that the male suspect pulled out a gun and told him to stop the car.

&uot;The male suspect then asked David to get out of the car and get into the back seat with him, allowing the female suspect to drive the vehicle,&uot; Harmon said.

The three reportedly continued east on US 158, turning off the main road down SR 1128 toward Occoneechee Neck.

Harmon said the male suspect then told the female suspect to stop the car, making David step out.

&uot;He took $30 in cash and the victim’s cell phone,&uot; Harmon said. &uot;The two suspects then drove away.&uot;

But the mystery doesn’t end here.

One day after Northampton law officials began broadcasting the information that a Brown 1988 Cadillac Seville four-door had been stolen and that two suspects were being sought for the crime, the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office was getting involved without any clue there was a connection.

A fire was reported at the dead end of Spring Branch Road, not too far east of Murfreesboro.

Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan reported, &uot;We received the call at 1:45 a.m. Tuesday of a fire at the end of the Spring Branch Road.

&uot;This road turns off the Mapleton Road, which is off US 158 just out of Murfreesboro toward Winton,&uot; Vaughan said.

Deputy Scott Cofield arrived on the scene, finding the car fully engulfed and fire already spreading into a wooded area.

&uot;The car was totally destroyed, burned down to the chassis,&uot; Vaughan said. &uot;We were able to run a check on the vehicle and it came back to Samuel David of 5055 Siminary Road, Alexandria, VA.

&uot;We knew we had the stolen car, but this just opened more questions to the two suspects,&uot; Vaughan said.

There were no apparent signs of another vehicle in the vicinity of the burned car and no witnesses, to date, to come forward with any information.

&uot;You have to wonder if the suspects are local, if someone was there to pick them up or maybe even if there’s a second victim out there somewhere,&uot; said Harmon. &uot;We are working in cooperation with the Hertford County authorities in an effort to piece this puzzle together.&uot;

As of press time Wednesday, law officers are looking for one black male, approximately 5-foot, seven-inches tall; weighing around 180 pounds with a medium build and dark complexion.

They are also searching for a black female, approximately five-foot, eight-inches tall; weighing around 130 pounds and a light complexion.

The woman was last seen wearing a brown leather jacket and carrying a brown leather pocket book.

The male suspect was called &uot;Mike&uot; during the ordeal, but law officers say this could have been a fake name.

Anyone having information about the alleged car jacking, going back to either stop at the Race Track or Blue Flame or from the stop on US 158 to change drivers should contact law enforcement officials immediately.

Officers are also asking anyone who may have seen traffic entering or exiting the Spring Branch Road in Hertford County or remember seeing anything suspicious prior to the car fire to also call local authorities immediately.

&uot;We will take any information at this point,&uot; Harmon said. &uot;Sometimes people think what they’ve seen or what they know is not important enough to call in, but in reality, it may very well be the one piece that solves the case.

&uot;Nothing is too trivial to call and report,&uot; he added. &uot;I urge anyone with information to contact the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office at 252-534-2611 or contact your local law enforcement office at once.

&uot;Your calls will be treated with confidentiality, you do not have to give your name,&uot; he added.

Again, the number to call is 252-534-2611. Officers from both counties will continue to work the case in an effort to find the two suspects they believe are armed and should be considered dangerous.