Clinton police need the community’s help in locating a suspect believed to be involved in a weekend burglary and assault that injured a 54-year-old Williams Street woman.
Investigators, still sorting through crime scene material, are not sure whether the incident was random yet or not, but the police presence in the surrounding area has been heightened as a precaution.
“We don’t want people to be panicked by this,” said Police Chief Jay Tilley, “but we do want them to be vigilant, on the lookout for suspicious activity or people, and to alert us if they see either.”
“We are stepping up out patrols in that neighborhood, especially after midnight, because we think it’s the prudent thing to do, and we want our citizens to feel safe.”
The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 15, when a masked suspect, carrying a knife, entered a Williams Street residence through the back door. The resident was home at the time and, police note, struggled with the suspect, receiving severe cuts on both of her hands.
The suspect fled the residence on foot.
The 54-year-old was taken to Sampson Regional Medical Center and later transferred to UNC Hospitals with serious but not life-threatening wounds.
Tilley said officers and detectives have been locating and interviewing witnesses and processing crime scene evidence since being called to the residence Saturday morning.
Detectives, Tilley said, are looking for a possible link between a break-in that occurred at the victim’s residence two days earlier, on Sept. 12, and the Saturday morning burglary.
“In the earlier break-in,” the police chief noted, “some personal items, were taken. So far, it’s been the only reported incidents in the area.”
The suspect is being described as a black male, 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored coat, dark blue pants and dark shoes.
Anyone with information about this crime or who might have seen a suspect fitting that description in the area of Williams Street is asked to call Sgt. Donald Edwards or the Clinton Police Department at 910-592-3105, or the anonymous tip line at 910-590-3309. Tips can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org