STOKES COUNTY, N.C. — Four Stokes County schools were locked down during a search for three men suspected of breaking into a Stokes County home.
Stokes County Sheriff’s deputies say they began receiving calls for a suspicious vehicle near Flat Shoals Road Wednesday morning.
When they responded, they say they found three men who had broken into a home belonging to Howard and Phyllis Collins, who are 80 and 77 years old respectively.
“Everything was tore up, and strung out and the back door was kicked in,” Phyllis Collins said.
The Collins’ say they were not home at the time of the break-in and were told it had happened by a neighbor.
“When we got here, the yard was full of deputies,” Collins added.
Deputies say when they encountered the suspects, two of them ran into the woods and the third got into a car.
The suspect drove away from the home, but crashed the car near Highway 66 and Cromer Road. Although there was heavy damage to the vehicle, the suspect was able to run into the woods.
At this point a manhunt became full-scale, and four Stokes County schools were put on lockdown. Those schools included South and West Stokes High, as well as Chestnut Grove and Mount Olive Elementary.
After crashing his car, the suspect made his way to YMCA Camp Road.
“The young man was running up that road across the street, yelling, ‘help me, help me, I have been kidnapped. Help me, help me,’” said Lisa Dyer, who lives in the area.
Dyer said the man was bloodied, wearing nothing but his underwear and socks.
“I said, ‘honey, you stand right there, you’re bleeding,’ and then I said, ‘give me a minute, I’m gonna get you some help,’” she said.
Dyer tells FOX8 that she called 911 and several law enforcement agencies were there in moments.
“Then the next thing I know, Hawaii 5-0 is here, and the helicopter,” Dyer recalled. “Then one of them said, ‘ma’am, he’s not an innocent young man.’”
Dyer took pictures as the man was handcuffed and arrested.
Meanwhile, the other two suspects were located in the woods, about a mile back from the Collins’ home.
“I just thank the Lord we wasn’t here, because with three of ‘em, they might have, they might have wished they hadn’t stopped by,” Collins said, adding that she and her husband will most likely remain shaken by the incident for days to come. “They better never come back here.”
Collins says some of her jewelry had been taken.
“People are so low damn mean anymore, that it’s not safe to be at home, let alone anywhere else,” she said.
The names of the suspects are yet to be released.