11/06/05 — Man spotted at Rosewood stole checks

View Archive

Man spotted at Rosewood stole checks

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on November 6, 2005 2:15 AM

The owner of the car a man drove to Rosewood Elementary late last week has said he was never at the school, but that he will help identify the man whom school officials saw in the hallways.

Wayne County Sheriff's Capt. George Raecher and the lead case investigator, Detective Sgt. Rick Farfour, said the unidentified suspect was probably there to steal, since an investigation later revealed several checks belonging to local teachers and an unidentified man were found outside the school along Charlie Braswell Road.

When the teachers were contacted, each had lost three checks. Raecher said Friday that no stolen checks have been cashed.

The suspect entered the school Oct. 27 and asked for a form with which to register a student.

He got the form, asked to use a restroom and then disappeared from sight. He was seen later elsewhere in the school. When he was asked if he needed help, he said he was looking for the principal's office. When he reached the office, staff members became suspicious, and the man fled.

The car he entered at the school was boxed in, but the vehicle jumped a ditch and then the driver speeded away.

Witnesses had given sheriff's deputies the license number of a white, four-door 1993 Buick Century in which the man fled when he was confronted at the school. When detectives checked, the car was registered to Conrad Alexander Burke, 26, of Durham.

When they called Burke last week, he said he had loaned his car to someone else. He said he would get the date of birth of the person who was driving.

Raecher said not enough evidence has been found to make an arrest. The captain also noted that the alleged prowler made no aggressive movements toward children.

The case remains under investigation. Raecher said Burke probably will be interviewed in Durham.

Sheriff Carey Winders said Burke has an extensive criminal record but has not been charged with sex offenses or crimes against children. The only charges filed against him in Wayne County were dismissed.