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Police link burned SUV to Cary home invasion

Posted June 17, 2016

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— An SUV stolen from a Cary home following an armed robbery there early Thursday was found burning in Durham early Friday, police said.

Five men forced their way into a home in the 400 block of Sandy Whispers Place, held the homeowners at gunpoint while they stole electronics, jewelry, handbags and wallets and then forced one person to go to a nearby ATM and withdraw cash, police said.

The robbers fled the area in a blue 2013 Ford Explorer that belongs to one of the victims, and police said the vehicle was found burning shortly after midnight on Anacosta Road in Durham, near Shepard Middle School. Police said the vehicle was likely set ablaze to destroy any evidence left inside.

"We've been getting calls and leads, and we've been following up on those leads," Cary police Capt. Randall Rhyne said. "It's a continued active investigation, and like I say, we're following up on all the calls we're getting."

A Cary couple, their 4-year-old daughter and a family friend reported only minor injuries in the robbery, police said.

The family is of Indian descent, and neighbors question whether Indians are being targeted for crime, noting other Indian families in the area have had their homes burglarized.

"You hear things of this nature, 'Don't put things on the house that make it pretty obvious who you are,'" neighbor Nishant Dholakia said. "Personally I don't have any evidence to back this."

Police likewise said there's no evidence to suggest that Indian families are being targeted.

"We find no evidence that any particular group is being targeted. Unfortunately, that's a very nice neighborhood, and criminals go where the nice things are," Rhyne said.

Whatever the motive of Thursday's robbery, Dholakia and other nearby residents said they want their sense of safety restored and the robbers caught.

"It seems surreal. It didn't seem like something that would happen in the neighborhood," Dholakia said. "Especially with kids and families, you think that the home is the most safe place, and something like this happens. Now, you're interested in getting a dog or a security system or something even bigger."

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Cary Police Department at 919-469-4012 or Cary Crime Stoppers at 919-460-4636.


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  • Dalton Dickens Jun 17, 2016
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    Willing to bet, these guys have already seen some type of jail time, etc...and just went thru the revolving door of justice, more than a few times. Thank goodness they didn't seriously hurt any of the family members. In these types of situations, it should be bumped up to a terror charge IMHO. Hope they catch them quickly!!

  • Mark Cooper Jun 17, 2016
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    Hari had some very good points. My comment came from working in that town for 7 years. All three of the convenience stores closest to the office had someone shot (not just robbed) during my "stay". I have lived all over the RTP area, I am from NC and have been in RTP area since 1983. Ral, Cary, Holly Springs, Zebulon, Fuquay Varina. I have never in any area witnessed what I saw in Durham, My car broken into at the Daryl's on 15-501 (twice). Someone attempted mug my boss and I one aft on Hillsboro rd. near Bullocks BBQ as we went to our car. Another employee who lived there went thru a home invasion like this family. Police came by our building twice basically telling us to lock down as they were searching for a gunman in the area.

    Like "Bob the Blade" said many years ago... The place is Lil Detroit.

  • Hari Nootsak Jun 17, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Not a matter of helping or hindering. It is conjecture based on the vehicle being left in Durham, and the proximity of this neighborhood to Durham.

  • Hari Nootsak Jun 17, 2016
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    This crime is not fully random. A good chance these upstanding citizens from Durham had cased this far northwest Cary neighborhoods prior. Easy quick access off highway 55. Seeing as how the family is from India they had probably seen in yard, or through windows on a previous drive by, and made assumption about lack of fight they would get during a break in. It's takes less time to get from Alston Ave. Durham to this location than to downtown Cary.

  • Erica Konopka Jun 17, 2016
    user avatar

    What a bunch of j erks. How about get a job and earn an honest living, rather than terrorizing a family in the middle of the night, taking and/or destroying what THEY'VE worked hard for? Unreal!

  • Sheri Bachmeier Jun 17, 2016
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    How does it help anything with your remarks about Durham?

  • Steve Clark Jun 17, 2016
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    The part of Cary where the invasion occurred is very close to Durham, so it's not surprising.

  • Mark Cooper Jun 17, 2016
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    Car found in Durham... This just in "Shocker"