Greensboro Police: String Of Robberies Focus On Elderly

10:14 PM, Apr 24, 2012   |    comments
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Terrence Anthony Brown, Courtesy: GPD

GREENSBORO, NC-- Greensboro police are cautioning senior citizens about a series of robberies Sunday and yesterday in which three people accosted and robbed of valuables. Another two assaulted and robbed in Guilford County.

Late Tuesday, Police said they have made an arrest in connection to those robberies. Police said they've charged Terrence Anthony Brown with: Common Law Robbery.

The investigation is ongoing and more charges could be filed. 

In the cases under investigation, Detectives said the five victims are over the age of 65, four of them in their 80s.

The victims describe their assailant as a heavy-set or muscular man. Two victims described the offender as black. One described the subject as having closely shaved hair.

The first Greensboro robbery occurred Sunday evening at Cottage Place. The victim, 85-year-old Louis Shores, was unloading groceries from the trunk of his vehicle when the suspect approached him, pinned him against the trunk, and stole his wallet from his pocket. The suspect then fled the area in a vehicle.

The second robbery occurred yesterday at approximately 2:30 pm at Paces Village Apartments at 3100 North Elm Street. Lilyan Leahy, 89, was exiting her vehicle in the parking lot when an unknown male grabbed her purse and forced her to the ground. The suspect then fled in a vehicle.

Nine minutes later, police responded to 447 Arlington Street, and met with Charles Gibson, 86, who advised he was working in the area when a dark colored sedan pulled up behind his vehicle. The suspect exited the vehicle, approached Gibson, struck him in the face, and took his wallet. The suspect got back into the vehicle and headed North on Arlington Street towards Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Gibson suffered a laceration to his face, but did not request EMS. Neither Shores nor Leahy were injured.

The Guilford County Sheriff's Office received similar reports of robberies of senior citizens.

At 3:31 p.m. Monday, Eugene Apple and his wife called police from Hacketts Lakes Road after they were robbed on their way home.

The 84-year-old tells News 2, it was one of the scariest moments for him and his wife.

A day later, bruises are still visible on Eugene's face - where the robber hit him.

The husbad and wife were just a few blocks from their home when a car hit theirs from behind.

And as anyone would do, Eugene got out to look at the damage.

He says, the driver apologized and said his brakes failed.

 As the elderly man started walking back to his own car to get his insurance information and he says he was suddenly attacked from behind.

"All of a sudden, I felt an arm around me; he's choking me and pushing me down," he described. "So, I was down, and I said, what is he going to do, kill me or what? I was scared.  And then all of a sudden he let me go."

Linda Apple, Eugene's wife was in the car when she saw the attack. 

"All I could think of was 'oh, my Lord he's robbing us. He's going to hurt him or me or kill us both and leave us here, " she said.

"And then all of a sudden, boom! he hit me on the side of the face," Eugene said about the attacker.

About two hours later another elderly victim called the Guilford County Sheriff's Office to report an attack on Ariel Farm Road.

Greensboro police do not have enough information to determine whether or not these crimes were committed by the same Brown, but, based on the similarities of the crimes, they are working closely with GCSO to investigate.

Police offer the following safety tips:
-- Before exiting a safe place such as your home or vehicle, take a good look around you. If you see someone watching you, watch them for a while. If they don't appear to have a legitimate reason for being in the area, stay in your safe place and call police.
-- If the offender is after your purse, wallet, or other valuables, don't resist. Your life and safety are more important than your things.
-- If you are approached or assaulted in public, make as much noise as possible by calling for help or blowing a whistle. Do not pursue your attacker. Call 911 and report the crime as soon as possible.
-- Get a good description of the offender and any vehicle.

Anyone with information about these incidents is encouraged to Crime Stoppers at 336-373-1000.

WFMY News 2

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