Dummy placed in street as part of ambush

NEWPORT | Investigators say they have not ruled out a connection between what they are calling an attempted carjacking this week and an armed robbery at a nearby Dollar General the next night.

The initial incident took place early morning Sunday at the intersection of West Southwinds Drive and Pagoda Court in the Paradise East mobile home park off of N.C. 24 in Newport. A woman driving home from work came across what looked like a person sitting in the middle of the road. As she neared, two young white men wearing dark hoodies pulled on the door handles of her locked vehicle, according to a press release from the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office. The woman drove away — “absolutely the right thing to do,” Major Jason Wank with the CCSO said in the press release — and the “person” in the road turned out to be a dummy dressed in children’s clothing.

Investigators say the incident serves as a reminder to drivers to keep their doors locked and remain inside the vehicle when approaching anything suspicious.

Anyone who has information about the dummy or the people responsible for making it are encouraged to contact Derek Moore with the sheriff’s office at 252-728-8400, ext. 8849.

CCSO says they are unsure if the incident is connected to an armed robbery the next night of the Dollar General at N.C. 24 and E. Southwinds Drive. A white male wearing a dark hoodie and mask and carrying a black handgun entered the store before 8 p.m. Monday. There were two clerks and a customer in the store at the time, and the robber made off with under $300, according to CCSO.

There were no injuries reported in either incident.

Carteret Count Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the people involved in either incident. Contact Crime Stoppers at 252-726-INFO (4636).