Wake County News

Investigating disturbing similarities between two Raleigh rape cases

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) -- On Tuesday, CBS 17 learned disturbing similarities between the two rape cases in Raleigh that happened months apart. In both cases, neighbors told us police did not alert them about the crimes right away.

CBS 17 asked RPD for an on-camera interview and our requests were denied.

We wanted to know why police have been slow in releasing information about crimes that could be critical to public safety.

Raleigh police are still looking for the man responsible for breaking into a home and raping a 49-year-old woman last November along beacon hill drive. Neighbors we talked to found out about the crime in December. A lot of them didn’t know it happened.

“I would like to know those things so it was surprising to us to hear that and that no one knew what had happened I guess was a little shocking,” said neighbor, Alaina Smith.

Police are also investigating a rape at a different neighborhood last month near North Hills Drive. The similarities in the two investigations are striking. According to warrants, in both cases, an African-American man broke into the victims' homes late at night, hid his face, and made the victim take a shower following the assaults. Raleigh police say both crimes could be connected. 

Like the November case, neighbors weren’t alerted about the April rape right away. Police posted info about the case on Facebook more than a week later.

“Me being a woman, I feel like sometimes things aren’t put out as quickly as they should,” said neighbor, Cassandra McBurrough. “That’s where the frustration comes from. I can’t prepare myself if they don’t tell me.”

CBS 17 reached out to Raleigh police for an on-camera interview and went to the police station after getting no response. Officers refused to speak on camera.

We wanted to know how many open rape cases police are currently investigating in Raleigh. A spokesperson told us she could not get us a number today.

We also asked about the speed at which police release information to the public.

A spokesperson for the Raleigh Police Department sent CBS 17 the following statement:

After an incident occurs, it is assigned to the detective division, who conduct a thorough follow-up investigation. Each case is evaluated to determine the level of threat to the community and the public at large. If the need arises, they will get information out as soon as possible to alert the public; however, sharing information about a case too soon could compromise the leads that detectives are following up on. During that follow-up investigation, they will canvass an area and speak to other residents to gather information and follow-up on the strength and validity of leads. Once those leads are exhausted, they will find alternative methods of assistance, including reaching out to the public affairs office to distribute a press release.

Ruffin Hall is the city manager for Raleigh. His office oversees all of Raleigh’s public departments, including the police. CBS 17 requested an interview with Hall. We were told he was unavailable on Wednesday.

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