B&E suspect caught in Aulander

Published 9:31 am Monday, June 26, 2023

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AULANDER – Using information from citizens in the Aulander community, the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office was quickly able to apprehend a breaking and entering suspect here Sunday.

Bertie Sheriff Tyrone Ruffin said that William ”Dink” Matthews was taken into custody after breaking into a residence on North Commerce Street. Ruffin said the home that Matthews allegedly broke in to was where 80-year-old Lan Thi Rawls was brutally murdered on Feb. 20. Her caregiver, 62-year-old Rochelle Harrell, was seriously injured.

Matthews was charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, and possession of stolen goods. He was detained under a $5,000 secured bond and is scheduled to make an appearance on Wednesday, June 28 in Bertie County Criminal District Court.

Ruffin said deputies received a call of a breaking and entering in progress in the area of North Commerce Street. Detective J. Price, Sergeant R. Blount, and Deputy R. Dozier responded to the area and located Matthews who matched the description of the suspect. Through the initial investigation, Matthews was arrested.

“This is the perfect example of law enforcement and the community working together to make our neighborhoods safe,” Sheriff Ruffin stated. “A neighbor saw something suspicious and made a call and deputies were able to quickly respond and take the suspect in custody. The Bertie County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to its citizens and our goal is to continue to work together to make our communities and county safer.”