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Carjackings, rapes have Henderson on edge

Posted February 19, 2013

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— Two women were carjacked and raped at gunpoint in the Henderson area on Valentine's Day, police said Tuesday, which has area residents on alert.

The incidents were latest in a series of carjackings in the area in recent weeks.

Since Jan. 24, four vehicles have been stolen at gunpoint, police said. The previous carjackings occurred outside a Walmart on Cooper Drive and near The Wash House laundromat on Andrews Avenue.

No arrests have been made, and investigators are trying to determine whether the cases are connected.

Police and the Vance County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating one of the rape cases, declined to disclose where the Valentine's Day carjackings occurred. One of the assaults took place in front of two boys, ages 8 and 11, authorities said.

Both women who were attacked are recovering.

Henderson police have confirmed that the rape case they're investigating started in a parking lot, like the two earlier carjackings.

Molly Hakes Henderson on alert while police probe carjackings, rapes

"People always need to be cognizant of their environment. They need to be aware of their surroundings and who's around," said Lt. D.A. Hedgepeth of the Henderson Police Department.

Women in Henderson said they are thinking twice before getting behind the wheel by themselves.

"This does not seem like a safe place to be," Molly Hakes said.

Hakes said she and other women are trying to stay alert and informed about local crime.

"We're all trying to keep each other informed, and we're all trying to say keep a buddy system in place (to) be careful (and) be protected," she said.

80 Comments

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  • RM24 Feb 21, 2:42 p.m.

    What are the demographics of Henderson? Does it have any other similarities to say Durham, Rocky Mount, or other cities where violence and crime is high? Could it be if they all share the same demographics then that could be common ground and part of the problem ? That's crazy to think if the have an exact common link then that could be the problem ain't it

  • Southern Girl Feb 20, 6:06 p.m.

    It must be very hard to live in fear, especially since one of these attacks took place in front of children. The raper has no fear. Hope they find this person sooner than later. I don't understand if they think it is one person or several doing the attacking.

  • junkmail5 Feb 20, 5:29 p.m.

    Just some basic thought here

    If you do not have a gun while witnessing or being the victim of a crime you are a victim, the criminal is free to proceed as he wishes, and that's it.

    If you DO have a gun you can simply not draw it and the SAME thing happens. PLUS you have the option TO draw it if it seems likely you can stop the criminal.

    In every conceivable way the second situation is better as you at least have the option, and we know for a fact some people have effectively exercised such an option to improve the situation.

  • mh10809 Feb 20, 4:29 p.m.

    http://blog.skepticallibertarian.com/2013/01/12/fact-checking-ben-swann-is-the-uk-really-5-times-more-violent-than-the-us/
    Guns ownership doesn't correlate to lower crime rates. It is way to complex to break it down into something that black and white. Crime rates are a complex mix of socioeconomic, education levels, drug and alcohol abuse rates......and on and on. Let's just say this I'm from Henderson and Ive lived in NYC and Philidelphia. If you think you'd be so much safer with a gun spend some time in Philly. I know as I was being mugged at gun point with one gun being held at my head and another shoved in my back I wouldn't have been any safer if I had one on my person that night. It would've 1) ended in someone getting shot......probably me. or 2) just resulted in the criminals having one more gun illegally at their disposal. Hope they catch this guy and stay safe but too all of you that won't to turn this into some political talking point, get a life, and enough Limbaugh.

  • Relic Feb 20, 4:28 p.m.

    "Where is the SBI? Are they working on this also? Seems like more would be better."

    How do you know they're not? Did anyone say that the SBI or any other agency wasn't working with their police department or the Sheriff's Office? Why do folks insist on making law enforcement give up every bit of information that they need to keep low key to help get the person(s) responsible just because people are curious?

  • Southern Girl Feb 20, 4:03 p.m.

    Where is the SBI? Are they working on this also? Seems like more would be better.

  • busyb97 Feb 20, 3:51 p.m.

    "US having 4X the murder rate of any comparable western country"

    Is that number factoring the larger population too? Because yes, we would have larger stats given that we are larger and more populated than most countries.

    But I bet if you dig into those doctored crime stats, you'd find that the OTHER crimes have gone up - burglary, assault, rapes, etc. Just because you aren't murdered in a crime, doesn't make your life any less destroyed. In those countries with strict gun laws, yes, the criminals have less access, but it doesn't eliminate them or the crimes.

  • TB Feb 20, 3:25 p.m.

    Grand Union's quote: 'I think they had the shooter of the State Trooper and his car on camera which is a much better aid to identification than any eye witness report.'

    Yes, the camera provided information, but a woman who is savagely raped is a far better eye witness of the facial features, body features, height, color(eyes, skin, hair,) weight, clothing,smells, and even his breath than a camera on a car.

    My original point was: A description of the perpetrator needs to be provided for the citizens of Henderson.

  • 4Strikes Feb 20, 3:13 p.m.

    "Me: I'm not saying that. You asked a question and then sarcastically answered it by using meaningless anecdotal evidence." NYtoNC81

    The "meaningless anecdotal evidence" being the article that we are actually commenting on.

  • junkmail5 Feb 20, 3:10 p.m.

    Yeah, the UK has a massively higher violent crime rate than the US does-

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html

    Because criminals prefer unarmed victims.

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