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by Clellie Allen
WAKE FOREST — After an armed burglar allegedly turned his attention to Wake Forest, terrorizing a woman in the Northampton neighborhood the night of Oct. 8, Wake Forest and Raleigh police were able to take into custody Walter Kevin Johnson, 28, of 6124 Braidwood Court, Raleigh, Oct. 11.
They were aided in part by a phone call from a woman at that address who said she suspected Johnson of the eight Wake County robberies over the last three weeks.
The caller, who is not identified by police, said to the 911 dispatcher, “There’s evidence all over the house … I just can’t find the d— gun.”
Johnson is currently in jail on nearly two dozen different charges stemming from the multiple robberies and Wake Forest Police spokesperson Bill Crabtree said the investigation is not over.
“We still can’t release much information at this stage except to say that Wake Forest Police are absolutely positive they have arrested the individual responsible for the armed robbery last Tuesday,” Crabtree said yesterday (Wednesday). “The investigation is continuing.”
The 911 call from the victim on Ridgemount Street in Wake Forest reveals a woman clearly terrified by her experience. Her first words to the emergency dispatcher were an out-of-breath, “Please come!”
Johnson allegedly assaulted the victim in her garage as she got out of her car. He reportedly put a gun to her head and demanded that she take him to an ATM to withdraw money.
The victim, however, set off her car and house alarm, while simultaneously running into the house and, “slamming the door,” she said to police. By the time officers arrived, Johnson was gone.
The Wake Forest Police incident report shows that Johnson allegedly made off with $2,210 of jewelry and other personal items.
Johnson’s first court appearance was Monday, where the district court judge conducting the hearing upheld the $3.925 million bond he is currently held under.
Crabtree also responded to inquiries about the delay of when the armed robbery took place, late at night Oct. 8, and when police alerted the public, nearly noon on Oct. 10.
Crabtree said that police have to weigh multiple factors to both protect the investigation and not tip off a suspect while at the same time alerting the public to possible danger. He said that the department was currently discussing the situation and would make adjustments for the future if needed.
Although this alleged robber has been caught, Crabtree said that people should still not be complacent about their safety.
“Everyone should be aware of their surroundings at all times,” Crabtree said.
Wake Forest Police Chief Jeff Leonard added in a written statement that those with cell phones should always keep them handy and not be afraid to use them. “Nearly everyone carries a cell phone,” he said in the statement. “If someone feels threatened, then they should call 911, and we’ll have an officer respond immediately.”
Residents may also report suspicious behavior at any time to the police department directly at 919-556-9111.