An attempt to capture suspects in a Germanton area break-in late Tuesday morning resulted in two county schools being locked down by the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office for most of the afternoon.
“We were in close proximity of both Germanton and South Stokes while searching for a suspect with a weapon,” said Sheriff Mike Marshall. “As a precaution we decided to lock down both schools. We put officers on the school grounds to make sure the kids were safe and to make sure nobody could gain entry to the schools.”
Both schools were locked down from approximately 11:55 a.m. until around 2:30 p.m. without any problems.
Marshall said the incident began as undercover vehicles were searching for suspects in a Monday afternoon break-in in the Germanton area.
Capt. Thomas Sands said the homeowner had returned home at approximately 1 p.m. on Monday to discover a window in his house had been broken out and property had been stolen from his house.
Sands said the Sheriff’s Office had received a suspicious vehicle call from the Friendship Road area earlier on Monday which they believe was related to the later break-in.
“The caller told us there was an older model burgundy Cadillac pulled into her driveway,” said Sands. “She said she could see one black male in the vehicle and three other people in the vehicle. The black male saw her looking out the window and the vehicle sped out of the driveway.”
The Sheriff said his office had set up undercover vehicles in the Germanton area on Tuesday to see if they could catch the suspicious vehicle returning to the area.
He said deputies saw a vehicle matching the description on Friendship Rd. and tried to apprehend it, but said the vehicle fled from both deputies and highway patrol, turning down Bolejack Rd. before wrecking in a ditch at Bolejack Rd. and Hwy. 8.
“Three suspects fled form the vehicle,” said Marshall. “When officers started to give chase one of the individuals displayed a weapon and then they fled into the woods.”
He said a short-time later a private citizen driving though the area was flagged down by two suspects asking for a ride.
“He brought them over to where we have a command center set up and just got out of his vehicle,” said Marshall, noting that officers were able to apprehend the two suspects. He said his office partnered with N.C. Highway Patrol, Winston-Salem DMV officers, N.C. Wildlife officers and Rockingham County Sheriff’s deputies to try to locate the third suspect. “We tried to locate him in a wooded area using a Highway Patrol helicopter.”
He said while the search was going on deputies received reports of a stolen vehicle in the area.
“A guy was home taking a shower and when he got out he discovered his car and his keys were gone,” said Marshall. “That was about a quarter mile from where the foot chase started. Rockingham County K-9s tracked from there to where the vehicle was stolen.”
Marshall said police believe the third suspect escaped the area in the stolen vehicle which is described as a silver Honda Pilot with a license plate number of XTW-9480.
He said the suspect was an African-American male with dreadlocks who appeared to be in his 20s and was wearing a yellow jacket.
He said police were not ready to release the names of the two apprehended suspects, but confirmed that both were from Forsyth County.
Capt. Sands said the Sheriff’s Office was also investigating a Monday home invasion in the Pinnacle area, which may or may not be related to the Germanton incidents.
He said a woman living on Volunteer Rd. called in the home invasion at around 3 p.m. on Monday after two African-American male suspects busted in her front door and hit her in the head with a pistol.
“They made her lay down on the floor and stole electronics from her home,” he said. “The left her in the house unhurt except for the knot on her head.”
He said the suspects may have been driving a older model gold Ford Taurus or Ford Tempo. He noted that the victim had been checked by EMS.
Sands said the area had seen an increase in break-ins in recent months and asked residents to try to be more aware of their surroundings.
“If your home looks empty, that is what these people are looking for,” he said. “If you see anything out of the ordinary please give us a call so we can come check it out.”
He also asked neighbors to try to look out for each other.
“You need to know your neighbors,” he said. “If you see something unusual at your neighbor’s house please give us a call.”
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.