Home owner corresponds with thief through Facebook

Son arrives home from school: ‘Momma, we’ve been robbed’

By Kevin Spradlin

On Monday, Crystal Williams was looking forward to getting home and catching up with her son, who had finished up his first day at school as a seventh-grader.

The son arrived at the family’s Elder Avenue home in Roberdel shortly before anyone else.

“I called him after school to see how his day went,” William said. “He had just stepped off the school bus. He was walking up the driveway. I heard him unlocking the door. He stopped talking He said, ‘Momma, we’ve been robbed. The back door’s kicked in.'”

Williams said she was scared. She told him to turn around immediately, leave and walk to the neighbor’s house. Williams called her husband, Chris, then 911.

“I didn’t know if they were still here or not,” Williams said.

Chris and Crystal both reach home shortly before officers with the Rockingham Police Department arrive. Williams said she noticed the family’s large Polaroid flatscreen television missing from the living room. That’s not the only thing that’s missing. It seems as if the son’s bedroom has been pilfered — gone are his iPad in a black Otterbox protective case, 20 PlayStation 3 video games with two controllers, a high-powered pellet rifle. Williams’ old iPhone also is missing.

This screen shot captures an attempt by Crystal Williams to re-engage the person known as Ced McGregor Crunchtime on Facebook about a TV set Williams believes was stolen from her Roberdel home.

This screen shot captures an attempt by Crystal Williams to re-engage the person known as Ced McGregor Crunchtime on Facebook about a TV set Williams believes was stolen from her Roberdel home.

“They didn’t ransack the house,” Williams said. “They didn’t go through the drawers. They knew what they were coming for and left.”

Like anyone else for anything else these days, Williams went to the Internet. On Facebook, she posted on the popular classifieds forum, One Man’s Junk Richmond County NC, and told fellow group members of her plight. She described in detail the items stolen and asked for members to be on the lookout.

It didn’t take long for her to get a response. Polaroid, 42″ flatscreen. selling it for $200. The listing was created by “Ced McGregor Crunchtime.” The photo with the television for sale looked an awful like the one that had been stolen from Williams’ home. And as Williams noted, the Polaroid brand isn’t among the more popular of television brands. She sensed it was too unlikely to be a simple coincidence.

“Shortly after that, someone … contacted me,” Williams said. “They told me to check that TV out. Well, not thinking … I should have just replied back and told the guy I wanted to buy it from him.”

Instead, Williams confronted the screen name of the person who was trying to sell what appeared to be her television. She posted on the thread under the picture of the TV and told him of the break-in. She asked where he’d gotten the television.

“As soon as I commented under the picture, I took a screens hot of it,” Williams said.

It was a good thing, too — because the image was quickly deleted. But the individual known as Ced McGregor Crunchtime “ends up sending me a private message through Facebook,” Williams said. “He swore up and down he had his receipt.”

Williams asked for a photo of the receipt. No photo arrived. Williams said she forwarded all of the information she had gathered, and the person’s Facebook screen name, to the detective assigned to her case at the Rockingham Police Department.

Ced McGregor Crunchtime lists a Maxton address, so Williams called the Maxton Police Department. Williams said she was told McGregor was well known by local police, but since the alleged crime took place in Richmond County, they couldn’t help.

Williams estimates the loss “in the thousands,” close to $3,600, but “there is no amount of money that can replace my and my family’s sense of security and peace of mind.”

She has insurance, but she also knows that if she doesn’t have to file a claim, it’s better not to.

Williams said hers isn’t the only home break-in of which she is aware. A man’s home behind a nearby church also was robbed. She expressed interest in starting a community watch but Roberdel, in fact, already has one.

Sara Jane Arnette, of Roberdell Road, said Friday the group formed in January 2013, shortly after her home was broken into. Forty-two members are signed up, Arnette said, but only six to eight people regularly attended the monthly meetings. The low turnout caused the meetings to move to a quarterly schedule to encourage more people to attend “but so far, this year, it hasn’t.”

There are only six members in the group’s private Facebook forum. The Roberdel Community Watch group’s territory extends from Roberdel itself up Bear Branch Road to a point just beyond Northside Fire Department, Arnette said.

The group’s next meeting will be in the form of a yard sale, which will serve as a group fundraiser. The date will be Saturday, Oct. 4, but the location is not yet finalized.

“I did not know that there had been any break-ins recently,” Arnette said. “Usually, they are supposed to call me if they have a break-in after they call the sheriff’s department. We are supposed to keep a record of that.”

For more information on Roberdel Community Watch, contact Arnette at 910-895-9338.




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