SALISBURY – Deputies knew when they pulled back the covers and noticed that Derrick Sewell was wearing wet, black socks in bed, they had their man. It was further confirmed when they noticed the gray sweatpants on the floor of the bathroom. Those sweatpants were also wet, right up to the knees, indicating that the person wearing them may have recently been running through wet grass.
The story began on Thursday morning in the Forest Oaks neighborhood. A man had seen a suspicious person in the neighborhood going door to door trying to break into homes. The man had been alerted by another neighbor who had been the victim of a car break in on Wednesday. That neighbor noticed that the man who was walking door to door looked like the man she believed had broken into her car.
The man who had seen the suspicious person called 911, then chased the suspect from his yard. The ground was wet from the rain, and according to the report, the suspect literally ran out of his shoes, leaving them on the wet ground.
One neighbor had the idea that Derrick Lee Sewell, 20, of 149 Andrews Ford Road, Lot 19, might be the culprit. When deputies went to Sewell’s home, they were told by one person in the house that they didn’t know if he was there or not. Another person then indicated to deputies that Sewell was in a bedroom of the home with his mother.
A woman then came from that bedroom and told deputies that Sewell was not there. When deputies asked for permission to search the room, the woman agreed, and Sewell was promptly found in the bed, wearing wet socks and a hooded sweatshirt that matched the description given by neighbors.
Deputies found a .380 pistol they say had been stolen from one of the neighbors, as well as a blue duffel bag that included other stolen items like GPS units, phone charges, and other items.
“He had been terrorizing this area for the last couple of days,” said Rowan County Sheriff’s Captain John Sifford. “It was good work by citizens being observant and by deputies being diligent.”
Sewell was charged with seven counts of breaking and entering into vehicles, six counts of larceny, one count of larceny of a firearm, one count of possession of a firearm of a felon, two counts of probation violation, and two counts of possession of stolen goods.