Local News

Elderly Attacked, Robbed In Rocky Mount

Posted July 13, 2001 6:50 a.m. EDT

— Rocky Mount police are looking for a man who is preying on the elderly.

Just this week, six elderly people along Falls Road have been attacked, and many of them robbed. Now many are afraid to leave their houses.

Police are asking senior citizens to keep an eye out for each other and to keep their doors locked. The suspect is looking for cash and he apparently does not mind hurting people.

Two victims, who asked not to be identified, say their attacker appeared to be nervous and in a big hurry.

Just three days ago, one victim, an elderly woman, was about to walk outside and hang up laundry when the invader forced his way in.

"He (came) up the steps and opened that door and I didn't know what in the world it was," she said.

A 73-year-old man suffered a gash to the head before the suspect ran off with his wallet and credit cards.

"He snatched me up and reached in my back pocket and got my billfold," he said.

Police believe one man may be tied to six robberies of the elderly within the last week. Most were in the middle of the day, in Rocky Mount's older neighborhoods, along Falls Road.

"I would encourage all senior citizens to keep their doors locked, not to open your door to strangers, to know who you are inviting into your home," said Rocky Mount Chief of Police William Hogan.

Police say the man typically forces his way inside and grabs any cash he can find. He usually leaves within a couple of minutes, but the fear he leaves lasts longer.

"When you can't sleep, it's terrible, and we're too old to put up with something like that," said the elderly woman who was assaulted.

Some seniors say they think it is rude not to open the door to someone, but police say they need to keep them closed anyway.

Police have few leads and only a vague description of the suspect.