WAKE COUNTY, N.C. - Investigators are warning elderly people in Wake County to be on the lookout. They're investigating five separate cases where someone has robbed an elderly person just after they got home from running errands. Investigators believe the cases could be related and say the suspect is still on the loose.
It's been nearly three weeks since someone robbed an 83-year-old Wake County woman who asked not to be identified.
It was a Sunday morning. She had been to church, and then stopped by Walmart on her way home.
“I had been in my house about three or four minutes and there was a knock on the door,” she remembered. “I made the mistake of going out the side door to see who it was. The man had a medical mask across his mouth and he kept muttering 'I'm the sanitizer man. I'm the sanitizer man. I'm the sanitizer man.'”
She said before she could close her door, he started to force his way inside her home.
“I did not realize he had a knife until I had him closed halfway in the door,” she said. “It was the sharpest knife I've ever seen in my life.”
Fortunately, her 57-year-old son was at home, and he came to help.
“The man told my son, 'Give me all your money or I'll kill you,” she said.
The man stole the woman's purse and then ran away, without hurting anyone.
Investigators believe the same suspect could be responsible for robbing five elderly people in Wake County; three in Raleigh, and one each in Fuquay-Varina and Cary.
“The suspect is targeting victims,” said Captain Don Hamilton with the Cary Police Department. “Three cases have been at Walmart, two cases have been at area grocery stores. They seem to be targeting senior citizens, male and female, and following them back to their home.”
“There is this danger of this happening to you, even though you don't think it would ever happen,” added the elderly woman. “I'm grateful to the Lord I'm still here and still okay.”
Investigators urge everyone, especially the elderly, to be on the lookout for someone following you home after running errands. They urge you to follow your instincts; if something doesn't feel right or if you think someone is following you, don't go home. Drive to a public place and call 9-1-1. They also say when at home, you should not open your door for anyone you don't know.
Anyone with any information about the suspect, call CrimeStoppers at 919-834-HELP (4357).