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Maryland man wanted in home invasion

AHOSKIE – A Maryland man is on the run following a home invasion, kidnapping and car theft here Tuesday.

The Hertford County Sheriff’s Office has drawn warrants for the arrest of Justin David Pope, 29, of 6108 Downs Avenue, Elk Ridge, Maryland.

Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan said the victim, a woman living on NC 561 East of Ahoskie, was not seriously injured after the suspect entered her home around 9 a.m., pushed her down and tied her to a recliner.

“There were very minor injuries to the victim,” Sheriff Vaughan said. “She was more shaken-up emotionally than anything else.”

The Sheriff said the victim was not found until approximately 4:30 p.m. the same day. He added a friend found the victim bound to the chair and immediately called law enforcement.

Vaughan said the ensuing investigation by his officers produced information that the suspect, later identified as Pope, went through the victim’s residence, allegedly stealing four rings, necklaces, money, a credit card, cell phone and the keys to her 2000 blue Chevrolet Impala in which he used to flee the scene.

At 11 a.m. on Tuesday, that vehicle, with Pope identified as the driver, was stopped by a law enforcement officer on I-95 in Halifax County. Pope was issued a speeding citation and sent on his way.

“The officer had no idea about what had happened in Ahoskie because we didn’t even know at that time,” Vaughan noted.

The Sheriff acknowledged that the victim’s credit card was used on Tuesday in Virginia.

“He’s headed north,” Vaughan said. “We don’t know if he’s attempting to get home in Maryland or if he’s just headed north in general.”

Vaughan said Pope has been living in the Roanoke-Chowan area over the past few months with a relative.

“We’re just glad that the victim was not seriously injured or killed,” Vaughan said. “The material things that were taken will hopefully be recovered. It’s a life that we can’t recover.”

Upon his arrest, Pope will be charged with breaking and entering, larceny, 1st degree kidnapping, common law robbery, larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, larceny of a financial transaction card, assault on a female and possession of stolen goods.

He is described as a white male, 5’8”-6’1” in height and weighing between 175-185 pounds. He is bald-headed with a small build.

It is not known if Pope is armed.

The HCSO information has been shared with law enforcement agencies up and down the East Coast. It has also been entered into a national database dealing with criminal activity.

Investigating HCSO officers are Captain Marty Davis, Lt. Will Liverman and Deputy Leon Eason.

Anyone with information on Pope’s whereabouts is urged to contact the HCSO at 252-358-7800.