78-year-old dodges car, catches thieves breaking into house

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 12, 2011

By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — A 78-year-old Salisbury man had to dive out of the path of a getaway car after he came home and caught two men breaking into his home.
Joseph Wilson was still able to get the car’s license plate number, which helped authorities track down two suspects.
Keltrice Middleton, 18, and Ramik Sessoms, 25, both of Kannapolis, were charged with breaking into Wilson’s house and stealing a watch, two cameras, a knife, letter openers and a bottle of Jack Daniels.
Wilson said he returned home after lunch about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday with his girlfriend, Angela Smith, to find a strange vehicle in the driveway.
Wilson said he got out to confront the men. His long dirt driveway has one entrance.
“They’ve got to run over you or go around you to get out,” Wilson said.
Wilson, 78, attempted to stop the vehicle as the two men fled from the home in the 5000 block of South Main Street in a green 1996 Subaru Legacy.
Wilson said the car backed up and drove around his girlfriend’s vehicle, and that he had barely avoided being hit by the getaway car, but read the vehicle’s license plate, shouting it out to his girlfriend, Angela Smith.
“I had to jump out of the way or they would have run me down,” he said.
Wilson described the two men to authorities as being in their 20s with short hair.
“You wouldn’t think something would happen like that during lunch time,” Wilson said.
After Wilson called authorities to report the incident, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office deputy Carl Dangerfield spotted the vehicle near the Cabarrus County line. The green Subaru’s license plate matched the one given by Wilson, the report said.
Dangerfield reported that he attempted to stop the vehicle and that it slowed and appeared to be stopping, but the two men jumped out and ran.
According to the report, Kannapolis Police Department officers arrived with a K-9 unit and tracked the two suspects to a Kannapolis home.
After being arrested near the men’s homes at the 400 block of Courtland Court, the men said they were at the South Main Street home but did not break into it.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division said one of the suspect’s shoes matched a footprint impression at the house.
“They did the most professional job,” Wilson said about the deputies involved.
“It was like clockwork, like something you’d see on TV.”
Smith found a lot of black fingerprint dust from the investigation and continued to adjust pieces of furniture the thieves had moved.
“They went through everything,” Smith said. “All the cabinets were open.”
Wilson said detectives were able to pull shoe prints from a staircase in the house and from the window sill.
“It gives you an uneasy feeling for a while,” Wilson said. “It makes you feel like you need to be more careful when you leave.”
Middleton, 525 Courtland Court, was charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny and injury to personal property. He was given a $10,000 bond and was still in jail Thursday afternoon.
Middleton is scheduled to be in court on Sept. 30 for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia charges.
Sessoms, 348 Courtland Court, was charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny after breaking and entering, injury to personal property and assault with a deadly weapon.
Sessoms and Middleton were scheduled to be in court today for those charges.
Sessoms is scheduled to be in court Aug. 15 on charges of possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana and possession drug paraphernalia. He is also scheduled to be in court Aug. 22 and Aug. 29 on two counts of felony possession of a stolen firearm, driving with a revoked license and reckless driving to endanger.