Raleigh, N.C. — Police continued the search Friday for an armed man after he kidnapped a woman Thursday night from a home off Ebenezer Church Road in Raleigh and forced her to drive to a nearby ATM, the Wake County Sheriff's Office said.
Investigators were called to a home in the 5000 block of Stoneridge Drive at about 8:45 p.m.
According to Raleigh police, the woman, whose name was not released, was forced into her car by a man wearing a mask and forced to drive to an automated teller machine at the intersection of Duraleigh Road and Edwards Mill Road.
Sometime after she was forced to withdraw money, the woman jumped from the driver's side of the car, police said. The armed man drove off and returned the car to the home on Stoneridge Drive.
The woman was not injured.
"He came right up to the door with a gun and a mask, and he said he was going to kill me," the woman told a 911 operator. "He made me get in the car, made me turn the lights up. He got in the back seat and held a gun to my head. He wanted to take me in the house, and I begged him not to. I said I have no money.
"He kept telling me that, if I didn’t do everything he told me to do, he was going to kill me – and he has a gun," she said.
Investigators said Thursday's robbery is related to three other armed robberies that have happened in northwest Raleigh neighborhoods since Sunday.
Around 2 a.m. Sunday, a man with a handgun assaulted a man and stole a woman's purse while they walked together in the 4800 block of Pleasant Valley Road, police said.
The next night, around 10:30 p.m. Monday, a man forced his way into a couple's home in the 1000 block of Collins Drive, held them at gunpoint and stole money and jewelry from them.
He then ordered them into their car and forced them to drive to an ATM and withdraw cash. After demanding they drive back to their home, he stole electronics before forcing them to drive away again. He eventually dropped them off down the street and dumped their car a block away.
Shortly after midnight Monday, a woman was taken by an armed man from the parking lot of her apartment building on Furman Hall, off Duraleigh Road, forced to get into her car and drive to an ATM and withdraw cash, according to Raleigh police. The robber later dropped her off near the Interstate 40/Wade Avenue interchange and took her car.
In each case, the suspect was described as a black man, standing about 6 feet tall with a medium build.
In two of the robberies, he wore all black, including a black motorcycle helmet with full-face shield, motorcycle-style jacket and gloves. In a third, he wore all black except for an orange-and-yellow jacket that zipped up to cover most of his face.
The woman who was kidnapped Thursday couldn't provide authorities with a description of her abductor.
The crime spree has put neighborhoods in northwest Raleigh on edge.
Kira Kroboth said Friday that she's been using the neighborhood social network Next Door to keep up with the crimes. It was on that site that the sister of the latest victim sent out a message to those in the community, saying, "While it seems like he was waiting for her, we cannot rule out that she might have been followed."
"When you hear there is a weapon involved and, particularly, females are being taken from your home or carjacked, that's terrifying," Kroboth said. "I keep hearing people say, 'Well, at least he is returning people safely,' but if it had happened to me, I would be thankful that I wasn't harmed, but it would petrify me."
While Kroboth's family has started set their home security alarm even when their home, Ellen Schwartz said she is simply staying inside more.
"I was telling a friend, 'Maybe I shouldn't walk into my neighborhood until this person is caught.' I don't want to wear any flashy jewelry. I took some jewelry off today," Schwartz said. "I just hope they find him soon because it's scary."
Jerry Williams said he left work early Friday to keep an eye on his home.
"I took off half a day to meet my kids here and then also have some kids from some other families that are here, just making sure everything is OK," Williams said.
The crimes have taken away the sense of security in the neighborhood, Kroboth said.
"It just makes you wonder what are they going to do next," she said.
Anyone with information about any of the crimes is asked to call Raleigh Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357 or visit www.raleighcrimestoppers.org to text and email tips.
The North Carolina Bankers Association said Friday it is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment of anyone involved in the recent string of robberies.
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