Alert: Men approach senior citizens at home, then assault and rob them
Authorities in Iredell County are issuing a warning about two men who robbed two elderly people Saturday. The incidents, which happened hours apart, occurred in Catawba County and northern Iredell County.
Maj. Darren Campbell, supervisor of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division, said around 1 p.m. Saturday, Deputy Brad Stroud responded to the 2600 block of Wilkesboro Highway for a reported robbery.
The victim told deputies that she was outside doing yard work when a man approached her and asked about survey sticks in her yard. As she was talking with this man, a truck pulled into her driveway and a second man approached, Campbell said.
The men offered to pick up the sticks for $20, and after accomplishing this, offered to escort her inside, Campbell said. Once inside, one of the men pushed her into a chair and threw her walker out of her reach, he said. They took her purse, which contained cash, and the cordless phones from the house, Campbell said.
The pair left in the vehicle that had pulled into the driveway, Campbell said. The driver had backed into the driveway, ensuring an easy getaway onto Wilkesboro Highway, he said.
Campbell said the victim pushed a panic button on a medical alert system and authorities were notified.
He said the truck was described as a silver Ford pickup, possibly an F-150. The two suspects were both white males, one about 20 to 30 years old, tall and slender. The second was about 50 years old and was the driver of the pickup. He was described as short and heavyset and was wearing a brown shirt adorned with some sort of decal on the left side.
Campbell said law enforcement agencies in surrounding counties were notified of this incident, and that’s when the sheriff’s office learned that around 11:50 a.m. Saturday, a 94-year-old man was approached in a similar manner in Catawba County.
According to Campbell, in that case, the two suspects approached a man who was in his yard and inquired about survey sticks and offered to perform chores for money. When the man went inside to retrieve his wallet, the suspects followed and grabbed his wallet and took off. They took the cordless phones with them, Campbell said.
The vehicle and suspect descriptions matched the Iredell case, he said.
Campbell said both homes are a few miles from Interstate 40 and that it appears the suspects were driving around seeking elderly people who were in their yards.
“If anybody stops at your house, don’t let them in,” he warned.
The sheriff’s office crime scene unit responded to the woman’s home and a canine was used in an attempt to find the phones, but to no avail, Campbell said.
He said these incidents are concerning to law enforcement.
“Because of the aggressiveness of them, we’re working hard to find those responsible,” Campbell said.
None of the woman’s neighbors reported seeing anything suspicious. However, he said, detectives are checking surveillance video from any stores along the route the two are believed to have traveled.
If anyone has any information on this case, they are urged to call the Iredell County sheriff’s office at 704-878-3100 or Iredell Crime Stoppers at 704-662-1340. Callers can remain anonymous and a cash reward is possible.