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A breaking and entering Friday night and a shooting this morning at a residence in the 300 block of Franklin Street is possibly linked to both drug and gang activity, Roanoke Rapids police Chief Bobby Martin said this morning.

“We’ve got some individuals who decided they want to terrorize some of the residents in the 300 block of Franklin,” he said. “We have issues with drug and gang activity and I feel this has something to do with both.”

Asked whether the cases Friday and this morning were related to drug arrests made in September on Franklin Street — a case stemming initially from a shooting call — Martin said, “Anytime you have a house where drugs are suspected of being sold, you have the potential of being robbed of what you have there.”

In a statement this morning, Martin said on Friday shortly after 9:30 p.m., officers responded to the area after receiving a report of a so-called home invasion.

According to the victims, four armed men wearing dark clothes and masks entered the home and took items of value while keeping the occupants at gunpoint. 

Among the items taken were currency, jewelry, console games and wallet, “quick items they could snatch and grab,” Martin said.

Meanwhile, this morning shortly after 1:45, police responded to the same residence after receiving a shots fired call.

There was no one injured and no suspects were located.

In the statement, the chief said, “These two incidents are very serious and the ones responsible need to be identified before someone is seriously injured. It is believed the same individuals are responsible for both incidents.”

He expounded on the crimes via telephone this morning. “These individuals responsible for the home invasion and shooting into an occupied dwelling have no regard for human life. 

We have a lot of homes in that area and they are not only endangering the home they are targeting but all the other homes. They need to go ahead and turn themselves in because we know who you are and we will find you.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the police department at 252-533-2810 or Crimestoppers at 252-583-4444.

Breaking and entering arrest

Friday shortly after 8 a.m., Officer D. Newsome was dispatched to Halifax Rentals about a breaking and entering. 

Newsome discovered the glass in the rear door was damaged and someone had gained entry into the business. 

The suspect attempted to enter a cash register and safe but was unsuccessful.

The suspect then took a company truck and drove it through the fence at the back of the business.

Newsome learned the vehicle was seen by a Halifax County deputy at Oasis getting gas. 

A suspect description was established through video. The suspect was unable to get gas due to the company credit card being declined.

Meanwhile, on Saturday shortly after 5 a.m., Sergeant R. Cross and Officer C. Roberts responded to a breaking and entering in progress call at a home on Georgia Avenue.

Cross encountered a person he recognized as the suspect in the breaking and entering of Halifax Rentals. 

The person, identified as Leroy Jackson, 51, of Roanoke Rapids, was checked and a set of keys were located on him which matched the stolen truck.

Cross arrested Jackson and learned where the truck was located. Officer J. Shelburne located the truck in the area of Chockoyotte Park. 

Jackson was charged with breaking and entering of a structure, larceny of a vehicle, and felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. 

There were no charges for the call on Georgia Avenue due to him being at his home. 

He was placed on $5,000 bond and has a December 4 court date.

“The coordinated work of all officers at the Roanoke Rapids Police Department made this arrest possible,” Martin said in the statement.

Lieutenant T. Tyler and Detective M. Worrell assisted.