Rockingham County mom, daughters come home to break-in in progress; go after suspects

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- It’s not every day you hear about a mom and her daughters going after the bad guys.

“They shouldn’t have been at my house messing around, that made me angry,” said Joyce Ellis.

Ellis arrived at her home on Sandy Cross Road in Rockingham County at 3 p.m. in the afternoon. Ellis and her children, ages 13 and 8, were getting out the car when they noticed something strange: a car parked in the back of their home they didn’t recognize.

“When I saw the safe there [by the backdoor] and the door busted in, it just clicked,” Ellis said.

The family was interrupting a home break-in.

The family got back into their car.

The criminals noticed the family had returned home, jumped in their car and took off.

Ellis and her children followed.

“I turned around in my yard and got behind them and just chased them,” Ellis said.

Ellis followed them for about two miles until one of the criminals waved a gun at them. At that point, the family slowed down.

“I would’ve chased them all the way up the road if they hadn’t pulled out the gun -- but I’m not an idiot,” Ellis said.

Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page says they are looking for two African-American males driving a dark blue colored Ford Taurus. The pair made it out of the home with cash.

Page says this break-in should motivate families to take steps to protect themselves and their homes.

“Make sure you have good neighbors, communicate with your neighbors, community watch groups, and you may want to consider an alarm system,” Page said. “Also consider getting a carry and concealed permit.”

Page said among the 92,000 residents in Rockingham County, about 5,200 of them have concealed carry permits.

Ellis says she’s now working to increase security around her home and she’s now working to get her concealed carry permit.

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