Police search for juveniles accused of carjacking 81-year-old Bladen County man

Police Chief Howell anticipates several people will be charged for the carjacking
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 12:02 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2021 at 4:02 PM EST
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BLADENBORO, N.C. (WECT) - Investigators with the Bladenboro Police Department say they’re in the process of tracking down the teen suspects accused of a carjacking Monday afternoon.

Bladenboro Police Chief William Howell confirms officers responded to Village Oaks Apartments around 1 p.m. after a group of young men held a former town commissioner at gunpoint and stole his car and wallet.

Family says Mitchell Hughes wasn’t physically injured in the armed robbery. The grandfather had just returned from the grocery store when the teens jumped out of a car and robbed him. Luckily, his wife was home and he was able to get in the house and call 911.

“It’s a sad thing that — not only this time of year, but anytime of year — that someone would prey on an 81-year-old man to steal his car,” said the victim’s son, Cameron Hughes.

The carjacking is more than just the loss of property, the victim’s wife is battling cancer and was unable to get to her doctor’s appointment Tuesday because they didn’t have a car.

Chief Howell anticipates several people will be charged for the carjacking. The stolen vehicle was recovered in Fairmont, and one of the suspects has been taken into custody. While the case has been cracked, the damage the thieves did to the Hughes isn’t so easily undone.

“You don’t realize what you’ve done to my father. To see my father — he’s one of the strongest people I know, one of the most gentle souls in the world that I’ve ever met — to see him demoralized and hurting the way he was hurting last night because someone did that to him was probably the worst thing I’ve ever faced,” said Hughes. “It’s not my place to pass judgment on them. That’s what the court system is for and that’s what God is for. Karma will get you in the end and that’s what I’m banking on. All I want right now is peace for my father.”

The family has started a GoFundMe page and is currently looking for a rental property for Mitchell and his wife to say in while they work through the aftermath of the carjacking.

The remaining teens have been identified by law enforcement, but because they are juveniles, officers are unable to release their names.

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