Carjacking suspects arrested

Published 2:31 pm Sunday, April 28, 2024

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AHOSKIE – Two local men were arrested near here Saturday night for their alleged roles in a carjacking in Martin County.

Devonte Jamal Cofield of Ahoskie and Lamajae Ki’tory Norfleet of Windsor were taken into custody in an area near the Ahoskie Inn. Both men are 19 years of age.

Cofield was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, first-degree kidnapping, assault by pointing a gun, possession of a stolen vehicle, felony flee to elude arrest, and possession of marijuana.

Nofleet’s charges include robbery with a dangerous weapon conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Both men were taken to the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail.

The carjacking occurred at a business in Oak City. It is not known if there were any injuries.

At around 7:45 pm, Bertie Sheriff’s Sgt. H. Williams and Deputy D. Pillmon were patrolling in the area of Lewiston Woodville when they noticed a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle carjacked in Martin County.

According to Bertie Sheriff Tyrone Ruffin, an attempt was made to stop the suspect vehicle on NC 11 near Aulander.

“When Sgt. Williams and Deputy Pillmon activated their emergency lights to stop the vehicle, the driver of the vehicle failed to stop and sped away in excess of 100 mph,” Ruffin said.

Ruffin added that during the pursuit, Sgt. Williams noticed a second vehicle that was trailing the suspected carjacked vehicle. It was later determined that the driver of that vehicle (Norfleet) was involved in the carjacking.

As the chase pursued on NC 11 north, Bertie County Communications notified law enforcement in Hertford County. As the vehicle crossed into Hertford County, spike strips were successfully deployed on the carjacked vehicle. Once that vehicle was disabled, the driver (Cofield) exited and fled on foot near the intersection of NC 11 and Firetower Road/Bonner Bridge Road.

Law enforcement officers from the Bertie Sheriff’s Office, Hertford County Sheriff’s Office, Ahoskie Police Department, and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol set a perimeter in the area.

K9 units and drones units were deployed. At 10:46 pm, a drone unit operated by Ahoskie Police Officer T. Pennington located Cofield on top of a tent that is part of a new construction project at a natural gas compression station off Firetower Road (behind the Ahoskie Inn). Law enforcement officers surrounded that location and the suspect surrendered.

During the search of the suspected carjacker, officers noticed the second vehicle that was following the carjacked vehicle circling the area of the search. Law enforcement officers were able to stop the vehicle and after confirming through video surveillance with Martin County Sheriff’s Office that it was involved in the Oak City carjacking. “This is another great example of law enforcement agencies working closely together to remove violent criminals from our streets,” stated Sheriff Ruffin. “This is also a great example of why law enforcement agencies must have the technology and resources we have.”

“I’m thankful for the cooperation between the responding agencies to apprehend these dangerous individuals,” said Hertford County Sheriff Dexter Hayes. “We were able to successfully use modern technology (the drone) as well as our highly trained K9 units to safely bring an end to a carjacking, a crime that can often escalate into a volatile situation.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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