Charges filed in N.C. crime spree

Published 4:59 pm Wednesday, December 3, 2008

PENDLETON, N.C. – A 19-year-old Windsor man faces multiple charges in Northampton County, N.C. after allegedly breaking into a home there and trying to steal several weapons on Tuesday.

Meanwhile authorities in Southampton County are continuing to search for a second man involved in the crime who eluded capture Tuesday night.

Lt. Detective Brenda Burnette, of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department, said Jesse Braswell, of the 11000 block of Blue Ridge Trail, faces charges of felony breaking and entering, injury to real property, misdemeanor larceny, and larceny of firearms. Burnette said additional charges would be forthcoming.

Braswell was arrested Tuesday in Southampton County and is currently being held in the Southampton County Jail as a fugitive from justice. Additional charges may be filed against Braswell in Virginia.

Braswell is scheduled to be arraigned at 10 a.m. Friday in General District Court.

The charges stem from a burglary at a residence in Pendleton, N.C. According to Burnette, weapons were stolen from the home, and the victims of the burglary discovered the crime in progress.

“One of the victims was nearby and heard their dogs barking at the home,” Burnette said. “They looked and saw a strange vehicle in the yard. They went to go to the house, but the suspects left. They went behind them (in their own vehicle) and called 911.”

The two vehicles drove north and entered Virginia. Burnette said she did not know the exact route that was traversed, but did not believe that it was a high-speed pursuit.

Burnette said the burglary victims spoke to a dispatcher in Northampton County, and were eventually transferred to authorities in Virginia. Meanwhile, a Northampton County deputy was dispatched to the scene of the burglary in Pendleton, Burnette said.

During the pursuit, the burglars allegedly threw several weapons out of the window of their vehicle. Burnette said authorities in Southampton County recovered three shotguns and one handgun, which turned out to be a BB gun.

Detective Corporal Richard Morris, of the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed that Southampton County authorities had recovered several weapons from the roadside.

Burnette said no weapons were ditched in North Carolina. The recovered weapons were some of the property taken from the Pendleton home. Three magazines had not been recovered, Burnette said.

Southampton County police pulled Braswell’s 1995 Isuzu Rodeo over on General Thomas Highway, just east of Newsoms. Morris said Braswell was driving the Isuzu, and the second man exited the vehicle as it was coming to a stop. Braswell was arrested at the scene.

The ensuing manhunt for the second suspect centered around the Gum section of Southampton County, specifically the woods south of General Thomas Highway and the CSX tracks, between Sunbeam and Cypress Ridge roads. Officers from Boykins, Southampton County, and the Virginia State Police searched the area. A state police helicopter and a county K9 unit also participated in the search, but were unable to flush out the suspect.

Scanner transmissions during Tuesday’s manhunt said police were looking for a white male in his 20s. The man was described as wearing blue jeans, a dark-colored shirt and a green jacket.

The identity of the second suspect was not known, but Morris said investigators were acting on several leads.

“We are in the process of investigating all of those leads,” Morris said.

Morris said Braswell’s vehicle is currently impounded in Southampton County. Burnette said Northampton County authorities were not requesting the vehicle be sent there at this time because Southampton County detectives “did what needed to be done to it,” she said.