STOKES COUNTY, N.C. -- South Stokes High School and Germanton Elementary were placed on lockdown due to an active manhunt in the area on Tuesday afternoon.
During the lockdown students were told to remain in their classrooms and parents were not allowed to pick up their kids or visit the schools.
“It’s unfortunate that it happened,” said Wayne Duggins, principal of South Stokes High School. “It stopped our educational process but we’ve got to think safety first and the kids are the most important thing we have going on.”
Stokes County deputies were searching for a suspect in a series of breaking and entering cases along Highway 8 and Bolejack Road in Stokes County.
It all started with a potential traffic stop. Undercover officers were in the area because of a string of recent breaking and entering crimes. They attempted to follow a suspicious car that matched the description given by victims in a burglary Monday but the car led sheriff’s deputies on a chase.
The car chase was followed by a foot chase in which the driver of the car flashed a weapon before running off into the woods according to Sheriff Mike Marshall. The suspect was tracked to a home on Hampton Road where it was discovered an SUV was stolen from the home. It appears the car thief came into the home and took a set of keys from the counter while the homeowner was in the shower.
Two other people in the suspicious car that crashed were detained quickly and were questioned by investigators. No arrests have been made or announced.
The breaking and entering suspects are believed to be from the Winston-Salem area. The suspect still at large is believed to have stolen a silver Honda Pilot with the North Carolina license plate XTW-9480 and may be traveling back to the Winston-Salem area.
Melisa Jessup with Stokes County Schools released the following statement:
"Earlier this afternoon, Germanton Elementary and South Stokes High were in lockdown. The lockdown was later lifted at both schools and students have since left campus. Thankfully, no one was in immediate danger. A Connect-Ed call went out to parents. The Sheriff's Department notified our school system prior to lunch today after suspects were on the loose in the nearby area. It is my understanding that 2 of the 3 suspects have since been apprehended."