Durham residents feared felon who was in their neighborhood despite court's order
Posted January 7, 2009 8:35 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT
Durham, N.C. — Residents in a Durham neighborhood near Duke University's West Campus got relief Wednesday for a months-long worry about a felon who they said was in their midst through an oversight by the state's troubled probation system.
The state Department of Correction arrested Antonio Jennings and held him on $100,000 bond on a probation violation related to his conviction last October for breaking and entering counts in 2006 and 2007.
As part of Jennings' probation for those offenses, Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson ordered that Jennings "is not to go on or about the premises of Walden Pond Sub Division, not to reside or visit."
Stephanie Foltz, who lives in the Walden Pond community, said neighbors had regularly seen Jennings in their area, however, and they were worried.
Jennings, who police say they believe is responsible for at least a dozen break-ins in the area since 2005, pleaded guilty last year.
Foltz said she had seen Jennings in the neighborhood about every other day at what she believes is his girlfriend's house.
Foltz said neighbors warned her about Jennings. Later that day, she said, Jennings rang her doorbell.
“(He) asked me if I had dogs. He asked me if I had a security system, which of course made me a little suspicious,” Foltz said.
Foltz says she and other neighbors had repeatedly called Jennings' probation officer.
"She did tell me that she understood the importance of the situation and that she would get back to me," Foltz said. The officer told her that in the interim, Jennings was allowed to stay there because the owner of the home said he could stay there.
“He’s really intimidating, so it’s a pretty scary thing to know that he’s living a few houses down and there is nothing that anyone can do about it, pretty much,” Foltz said before Jennings' arrest Wednesday.