One of three wanted suspects in Columbus Co. arrested - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

One of three wanted suspects in Columbus Co. arrested

Rakeen Gaffney (Source: Whiteville Police) Rakeen Gaffney (Source: Whiteville Police)

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – One of three suspects wanted in connection to breaking into a community college president's home was arrested Tuesday by Whiteville Police, according to authorities.

Rakeen Gaffney, accused of breaking into the home of Kathleen Matlock, the President of Southeastern Community College, was arrested.

Authorities are still searching for two other suspects, Lonnie Willis, Jr. and Sarah Shipman.

According to police, Kenya Shipman, who was a housekeeper for Matlock, called Matlock several times last month wanting to clean her home.

Investigators say the day Shipman found out Matlock was in Texas is when the crime happened.

Officers say that Kenya Shipman told them her sister, Sarah Shipman, Rakeen Gaffney and Lonnie Willis, Jr. were the ones who committed the crime. Police say that a probation officer who lives in the area also saw them at the house.

Investigators say they stole nearly 20 guns, a valuable coin and a TV, among other items.

Police estimate nearly $17,000 worth of items were stolen.

Investigators believe Matlock's dog tried protecting the home, but one of the suspects kicked the dog in the face causing the dog to lose an eye.

"There were specific targets that were hit," said Sgt. Tedd Dixon with the Whiteville Police Department. " It wasn't like they ransacked the entire house. It's like there were different cabinets, different bags they went directly to. That you would have to live there or be a housekeeper, to know that they're there. So that's what drew us to the housekeeper to start with."

Sarah Shipman, Lonnie Willis Jr. and Rakeen Gaffney will face second degree burglary, larceny and animal cruelty charges.

Kenya Shipman will be charged with being an accessory to the crime.

Anyone who sees these suspects is asked to call police.

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