CCSO: Woman goes on crime spree, sets home and Jeep on fire

CCSO: Woman goes on crime spree, sets home and Jeep on fire

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A woman has been arrested for what law enforcement had dubbed a crime spree after a home and Jeep were burned and destroyed, a firearm was stolen, and shots were fired at two different individuals last week in Columbus and Bladen Counties.

One of the victims, the suspect’s husband, said she became irate after he told her he wanted to end their relationship. The suspect, Monica Renee Simpson, has since been arrested.

“On October 21, 2020, shortly after 1:00 pm, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office responded to Keith’s Tire and Auto located on Old Stage Highway in Riegelwood in reference to shots fired. Brittany K. Graham, 35, of Riegelwood reported that a female, Monica Renee Simpson, 33, entered her place of employment, pointed a handgun at her, and fired multiple shots. Graham fled the business through the back door in an attempt to escape Simpson,” according to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO).

Simpson chased Graham who managed to reenter the business and escape and called 911, Simpson then left the business in a Jeep Wrangler.

“While units were still responding to the above call, another call was dispatched of shots fired on Hoover Road in Bladen County. Monica Simpson and her estranged husband, Jeffery L. Graham, 56, were traveling in separate vehicles on Hoover Road when Simpson fired shots at Graham’s vehicle,” according to the sheriff’s office.

This event took place in Bladen County where that department is investigating.

“A few minutes later, a call was dispatched that a vehicle was struck by another vehicle and abandoned in the road. Deputies responded to Old Lake Road and observed a car with rear end damage, parked in the road. Witnesses advised that a Jeep Wrangler struck the car and fled the scene afterwards. Deputies located the driver, Jeffery Graham, in a nearby wooded area. Graham advised that earlier that day, he told Simpson that he wanted to end their relationship. He advised that Simpson was irate afterwards. He then stated that Simpson took his Jeep Wrangler and started chasing him when he tried to leave in his daughter’s vehicle,” according to the CCSO.

After firing shots at him, Simpson then proceeded to ram the jeep into the rear of the vehicle he was driving, Graham fled the vehicle and ran into the woods for safety. Simpson then took the Jeep and fled the scene - but she was not done yet. according to the sheriff’s office.

“While still on scene at all the above locations, another call was dispatched that a house and vehicle were on fire. Deputies were dispatched to the Columbus County side of Hoover Road, same being Jeffery Graham’s residence. Upon arrival, the mobile home residence and a Jeep Wrangler were fully engulfed in flames. The Columbus County Fire Marshal’s Office responded as well as area fire departments. Further investigation disclosed that Simpson drove the Jeep Wrangler into Graham’s residence. Afterwards, she set the Jeep on fire, which ignited the residence. The vehicle and residence were both destroyed by the fire,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Police then learned Simpson was possibly in Brunswick County with her mother. She was eventually arrested in Brunswick County and transported to Columbus County.

“Later on that same day, deputies were dispatched to a residence on Evergreen Church Road in Delco, in reference to larceny of a firearm. Phyllis B. Simpson, 60, reported that her handgun was missing from her residence. The firearm was inside the residence at 5:15 am that morning. Monica Simpson, Phyllis Simpson’s daughter, removed the firearm after her mother left the residence, prior to embarking on her crime spree,” according to law enforcement.

“Simpson was charged with felony larceny of a firearm, felony second degree arson, misdemeanor injury to real property, misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, felony discharging a firearm to incite fear. She received a $161,000.00 secured bond. Additional charges are possible,” the sheriff’s office concluded.

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