UPDATE: APD make arrest in pre-Thanksgiving home invasion in Montford

One arrest has been made in a home-invasion, armed robbery that occurred at a Montford neighborhood rental property on Nov. 17, one of the victims tells Xpress.

According to the Asheville Police Department report, the incident occurred around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17, although it was not reported until the next morning.

One of the alleged victims, who has asked to remain anonymous, said that the incident began when a mutual male friend was allowed into the home but was followed inside by two unidentified armed men who wore bandanas to cover their faces.

“I was absolutely terrified,” said the Asheville resident, who has since moved out of the home because of the incident. “I have never had a gun to my head before, and my hands just immediately went up in the air.”  The victim said that he and his roommates were then ordered at gunpoint to get onto the couch, while the men robbed the home of electronics and other valuables.

According to the police report, more than $5,000 in property was stolen, including two laptop computers and three cell phones.

APD spokesperson Melissa Williams said that the incident does not appear to be random. There have been no similar cases reported in the area.

No reported injuries were incurred during the incident.

APD is currently conducting a further criminal investigation.

Disclosure: One of the victims — not quoted here — is a Mountain Xpress employee.

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36 thoughts on “UPDATE: APD make arrest in pre-Thanksgiving home invasion in Montford

  1. Margaret Williams

    Not sure the zoning question is relevant, Mr. Peck, and these four young men have been the victims of a traumatic event, which I think you’ll understand.

  2. I’m just looking at this from the City of Asheville’s point of view. All rental property in the city must comform to state and municipal regulatory code. If no one there knows the answer to my question, I will look into it myself. Thanks.
    …………………

  3. cwaster

    Funny that this didn’t make the news at the time, and they just now got an arrest in the case. Glad to see it finally out in the air for public scrutiny.

  4. cwaster

    “There have been no similar cases reported in the area.”

    How about the home invasion where the fellow was caught by the tai chi folks in the park? It seems one of these happens about every couple months in Montford.

  5. Why

    Public scrutiny? A Mountain Xpress employee is involved, but they didn’t report this until now. You think they didn’t know this happened? It was their laptop that got taken! And no, home invasions don’t happen “every couple of months” in Montford. Good Christ.

  6. @ bunky.. YEP!!! Living in Montford, walking the streets to and fro from work daily, I can tell you that
    a) thugs will harass you and use that as an excuse to try and rob you occasionally
    b) police presence is NOT high enough to control the problem
    c) information about these kinds of crimes in montford (like the fairly recent stabbings, gunpoint hold ups, shootings, thievery (caught on camera), and street drug-sale arrests + hit and runs) does not show up in public forums.. it never makes it to the media. Why? Could it be.. the rich bed and breakfast owners somehow suppressing information? Might they have influence with the city? hmmm food for thought.

  7. There are alot more crimes, some very violent, that happen in Montford and they occur quite often. Most are never reported properly and don’t get paperwork.

    Community meetings address these issues, but the local law and business groups keep it quiet. More about the tourism dollar and not public safety.

    If councilman Bothwell taught a defense class instead of trying to get us to ‘clean’ up the streets with shovels, it might be better around here.

  8. Margaret Williams

    But Barry, how’s the movie clip relevant?! Tsktsk.

    And Why: No X-laptops or other equipment were involved in this crime. Mountain Xpress doesn’t often report such crimes; another reason the story didn’t publish before Thanksgiving: respecting the wishes of the victims and giving the APD time to work their case.

    Bunky: We didn’t have the name of the arrested suspect at “press” time, and as the investigation is ongoing, doing so may not be appropriate at this time.

    Montfordian: If you have evidence of “alot more crimes” in Montford, we’d like to know.

  9. Barry Summers

    Ah, well I do admire your taste in movies, Mr. Barry.

    Who’s got time for movies? I just watch the clips.

  10. @ Margaret. We as a community block here contact Mountain Xpress most of the time about the crime issues we personally know of and/or experience. So there has never been a lack of letters/emails going to MountainX’s staff.

    We’ve even resorted to posting crime incidents on Facebook to warn the community after those same events went unreported in the media outlets for well over two years. Community advisement flyers about the crime issue are ripped down by interested parties, while ‘Lost Dog’ flyers are left up on polls for months.

    I personally visited the Flat Iron building twice to discuss the problems related to Montford’s crime wave.

    Not one person reported on or came out to inquire about any of the crimes we sent to the paper.

    Not one reporter, that I know of, showed up to the Montford Community meetings where they discussed crime. However we see them for community positive hot topics like the 1-26 issue and another time about the tree cutting down near Broadway.

    Everything stated, your paper has been aware of the events here for a while, though you as an individual may not have been made aware of them until recently.

    However, thank you for asking personally.

  11. Margaret Williams

    Montfordian: Who did you speak to at Xpress and when? (you mention visiting the Flat Iron bldg twice to discuss the problems; we’re actually in the Miles Bldg next door).

  12. Margaret Williams

    Onewhodrums: it never makes it to the media. Why? Could it be…. if there are no filed police reports, no reports on public forums or Twitter or newsletters, and no one passing the news along about the crimes you speak of, how would “the media” or anyone else know?

  13. Barry Summers

    it never makes it to the media. Why? Could it be…

    It’s worth noting that our local ‘daily’, the AC-T, has been decimated by Gannett (along with many other newspapers) in order to help boost profits (back up to the 23% range – newspapers used to be considered highly profitable if they brought in 10-15%). As I understand it, much of their operation has been moved to SC, and the few local reporters still here are spread pretty thin. Thanks, corporate media!

  14. UnaffiliatedVoter

    Montford is a very cliquish neighborhood, so so they fancy themselves. It’s not surprising that so much crime gets rubbed out of media. At least 2 city council persons reside there, and should be more DOMINANT on what happens, but are not…make that one on city council and one on County Commission. Montford better come out of its PC coma and fast.

  15. Barry Summers

    I’m just looking at this from the City of Asheville’s point of view. All rental property in the city must comform to state and municipal regulatory code. If no one there knows the answer to my question, I will look into it myself. Thanks.

    Tim, would you really go out of your way to rat out these people to the City, just for some perverse satisfaction on the Carman House issue?

  16. Jim Shura

    Maybe Tim is just wondering why the crime was not reported until the next morning.

    Someone tried to get in my neighbors house on Thanksgiving night. My neighbors were out of town but a relative was staying there. She called the police. When my neighbors came home I referred them to an ACT article ( http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/citizen_times/access/2200589041.html?FMT=FT&FMTS=CITE:FT&type=current&fmac=3361c8eadc20d19df3b700d46bdc6e31&date=Nov+29,+2010&author=Mark+Barrett&desc=Oakley+teen+charged+with+breaking+into+neighborhood+homes )that seemed relevant. They called the police to see if it was related and discovered that no report had been filed for the attempted break-in.What’s up with that?

  17. Barry Summers

    Maybe Tim is just wondering why the crime was not reported until the next morning.

    No, Tim has been speculating about calling in complaints to the City inspectors, specifically to try to get people evicted, for his own twisted satisfaction, for over a month now:

    “Enforcement of zoning violations is “complaint-driven.” I don’t see any difficulty in lodging a complaint with the city for every single home in the district.

    “Then these hundreds of evicted residents (which we know there are) can seek public assistance at the taxpayer’s expense to get their lives back on track during an economic downturn and jobless recovery.”

    Tim Peck, Oct. 10, 2010

    http://www.mountainx.com/blogwire/2010/asheville_affordable_housing_threatened

    All the way up to today:

    “Can someone make an anonymous complaint?”

    Tim Peck, Dec. 6, 2010
    http://www.mountainx.com/news/2010/three_residents_will_leave_montford_home/

  18. Jim Shura

    Thanks Barry, I think I get the Peck angle now.

    But still, somebody holds a gun on you and you call APD in the morning? There is something that sticks in my head about that.

  19. Barry Summers

    But still, somebody holds a gun on you and you call APD in the morning? There is something that sticks in my head about that.

    Yes, I thought that was odd. It might have something to do with the fact that they knew one of the people somehow involved in the robbery:

    “…the incident began when a mutual male friend was allowed into the home but was followed inside by two unidentified armed men…”

    Maybe they were trying to find out how he was involved, and get their stuff back that way, and only filed a complaint the next morning when that didn’t work out? I don’t know. Just guessing here… Weird.

  20. cwaster

    What I don’t get here is that the incident didn’t make it into the paper or news until much later.

    There was another home invasion back in mid-august on Montford ave that didn’t get out into the news either. I see people selling drugs in the park- happens all the time. I’ve even seen drugs sold off of scooters on Pearson as I walk around. I could go on and on, but I won’t.

    The fact is (in my opinion) that a fair amount of crime is happening in Montford and it is getting ‘swept under the rug’. I don’t understand why, but an obvious motive would be high property values and not wanting to spook tourists. Which will not solve the problem.

    What will solve it is involvement with community watch, better lighting and visibility, looking out for each other, and a zero tolerance policy in regards to crime in our neighborhood.

  21. Pearson Crew

    You are right cwaster! My family and I also feel it’s getting swept under the rug for some reason! We’ve had cops run THROUGH our back yard chasing people who stole wallets and once for drugs, but it never shows up ANYWHERE! We had a massive sting go down on Cullowhee, we only live a few blocks down from some of the other people posting BTW. Anwywho – they -the dealers – sell crack on those corners, even close to where one of the city council folks live. My buddies and I saw the Asheville Police take these two crackdealers and buyers down from our driveway. However, nothing was said in the paper the next day and we didn’t see it on the police blotter. There was also that assault in the park with the lady and her two sons by a known rapist who travels our street (we even got his rap sheet from the SBI! Not from the Asheville Police! Thanks fellas!) and then there was that guy that was a bartender – walking home late from work – that got bushwacked on Panola heading home one night by five guys who struck him from behind and robbed him. An officer told our neighbor it was a gang initiation and they were hunting Montford for marks. We know all those people, but NONE of it ever showed up in the papers or on the blotter.

    IMO – they want to keep those records OFF the crime records off the national realty database. Crime records do affect home prices and alot of ‘important’ people live here in Montford. Just MyOP. Been very shady for a time up here in Montvegas.

  22. cwaster

    Amen,Pearson Crew. I know the exact fellow you speak of in regards to the park thing. Saw him raking leaves in my neighbor’s yard this weekend. Scot free.

  23. @margaret re: “if there are no filed police reports, no reports on public forums or Twitter or newsletters, and no one passing the news along about the crimes you speak of, how would “the media” or anyone else know? ”

    Twitter is a great idea. Facebook posts DO happen, and the comments about select advisory fliers being removed are correct. The law is called frequently by numerous people in Montford, and the known rapist is definitely a problem. He threatens and steals from people on almost daily basis. Everybody in Montford knows or should know him. He needs to be placed in jail and taken away from our streets and our children and our parks and not allowed to threaten anyone else’s well being).

    I posted several other incidents that had happened right after my last post, but like most of the comments that never make it to the mass media, it got censored (or maybe not posted because of some kind of posting frequency rule).

    Someone please do something about the thugs! it needs to stop! please install a police station again near the corner store! please patrol more, especially on warmer nights when the thugs are out in force. One drunk thug even threatened my 6 year old CHILD and I while walking down the street at 4:30 pm this past summer. After sitting on the hood of my friend’s car and threatening several others as he walked down the street. This is a different guy than the rapist. The rapist and his buddy stalked me one night the other night after I had already called and asked the police to take care of him. He was harassing people at the bus stop on cullowhee and montford. The police talked to him, he left, and then hid on a side street and waited.. then followed me. I ducked into a neighbor’s yard. This is life in montford. Arm yourself!

  24. Pearson Crew

    I know this is kinda a hard issue in a community as laid back as Asheville – HOWEVER, One Who Drums and others, are right! I believe in trying to be non-violent, but you do need to be armed in Montford! Good to see others talking about the rapist guy. I and my family practice yoga, but even we recognize the fact Montford is not really safe.

    People reading this – THIS is not a JOKE, we in Montford deal with thugs everyday! Tourists, don’t be fooled! Montford is a war zone when you get off the main drag and away from the safety of the B&BS;!

  25. appalachianj

    Well … Obviously … We have a rapist in Montford Park!

    He’s climbing in your windows, snatching your people up … trying to rape ‘em!

    So ya’ll need to hide your kids, hide your wife – hide your kids, hide your wife

    … and hide your husbands too!

    cause they are raping everybody out here!

    We’ve even got your tee-shirt, fingerprints and rap sheet too!

    You don’t have to come and confess! Montford’s looking for you! We gonna find you, we gonna find you!

    So you can run and tell that, run and tell that – home, home, home, homeboy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJZH8A_1Ga0

  26. cwaster

    @ appalachianj- now that’s funny. But it is true, there is a known sex offender hanging out near the MCC on occasion. I’ve called police before but they never seem to catch him before he moves on.

    “the incident does not appear to be random. There have been no similar cases reported in the area.”

    -This is obviously not correct in my opinion. Perhaps the word “reported” is the problem here.

  27. hey everybody.. this thread is fading away… you know why? it’s cold. The thugs like to attack when it’s warm. Save this link! Don’t forget! You watch. As soon as it warms up, it’ll get bad again.

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