SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) – A Smithfield man became the latest in a string of burglary victims to come face to face with a home invader.
Several of the incidents this year happened along a short stretch of North Carolina Highway 210. The most recent burglary was Wednesday morning on Black Creek Road, a few doors down from the state highway.
The homeowner, a senior citizen who asked CBS North Carolina not to show his face or identify him by name, said people need to be ready to protect themselves.
“You just feel a little uneasy for a while, but I slept good Wednesday night, I was ready for him if he wanted to come back. Fortunately he didn’t,” the man said.
“I don’t really want to hurt anybody, but people like that that want to steal from somebody rather than work for it, I wouldn’t really mind shooting them, to tell you the truth about it.”
The homeowner said he was in bed when he heard a noise in the hallway just before 9 a.m. The man said his alarm started going off, and he grabbed his gun.
“Open the bedroom door and there stands somebody that I don’t know. He’s kicked in the back door. His plan I’m sure was to take whatever he could find and leave with it,” he said.
He said as soon as he opened his bedroom door, the burglar took off running. The homeowner said there was a car waiting in the driveway which sped off before he could get a vehicle description.
His wallet was gone, but he found a bucket hat that fell off the burglar’s head when he ran.
The homeowner says he and his neighbors look out for each other, but the burglar’s vehicle went unnoticed.
“It’s very scary because we were home,” neighbor Caroline Pettit said.
“The neighbors over here actually called to check on us and I guess the car was there, and we didn’t know. We just thought someone was visiting and I guess it was like mid-robbery.”
Other people on Black Creek Road said they’ve seen vehicles seemingly scouting the neighborhood, even pulling into driveways. They said they’ve turned on lights or activated a garage door opener to scare off a possible burglar.
Pettit and her family use a noiser and more aggressive line of defense. Two loud Belgian Malinois security dogs.
“That’s their job. That’s why we have them,” Pettit said.
“We fenced in everywhere and we try to keep them on our side of the fence and deter bad people away.”
Pettit said she hopes to see some more deputies on patrol to prevent incidents like this.