Vacant Gold Hill home broken into, owner attacked

Published 10:42 am Thursday, January 10, 2019

GOLD HILL — A Gold Hill man was attacked after he thwarted a break-in at a home he has listed for sale.

The man told the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office that on Wednesday, he walked in on at least three people inside his home.

A deputy arrived about 11:25 a.m. at the 12400 block of U.S. 52. The 69-year-old homeowner told the deputy he didn’t see how many but believes he was attacked by two or three people.

He went to the house to get a cane for his wife and noticed a back window was open. He walked into the home and saw a man run from the hallway into a bedroom. He saw another person upstairs.

The homeowner asked the men who they were, and one of them answered Strickland.

According to a Sheriff’s Office report, the homeowner saw a man climbing into the house from a hole in the ceiling. The victim grabbed the suspect and they tussled. The victim said at some point he was hit on the back of the head with a blunt object.

He was able to strike one of the attackers in the rib area with a hammer that he found, said sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford.

The victim saw the men run out of the house, into a nearby field and over a fence. He then called 911.

Deputies responded within minutes and a number of K-9s and handlers also responded to search the area. The dogs were not able to track the scent, but K-9 Echo and his handler, Deputy Kevin Holshouser, found a glove and knife near the scene.

The homeowner described the suspects as white men between 25 to 30 years old. He said one of the men had a thin beard, was skinny and about 5 feet 7 inches tall. He said the first suspect wore a green coat and a toboggan.

He described a second man as taller and heavier than the first.

He told authorities the men had a hatchet.

Deputies spoke with several neighbors, but no suspect was located.

The owner refused care by medical responders.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator Cody Trexler at 704-216-8700 or Salisbury-Rowan CrimeStoppers at 866-639-5245.