Knightdale police: Man stole cigarettes, crashed SUV into dentist office, hid on nearby roof

Wake County News

KNIGHTDALE, N.C. (WNCN) — A Raleigh man is in the hospital and will face multiple charges upon release following a burglary, car crash, and police pursuit on foot, according to Knightdale officials.

According to a release from the Town of Knightdale, the bizarre series of events began early Thursday morning when Hajj Abdul Shabazz, 52, stole cigarettes from the Smoke Times store in the Smithfield Crossing complex and then tried to flee the scene in an SUV when officers tried to stop the vehicle that was driving through the parking lot without headlights on.

According to Knightdale’s public information officer, Shabazz attempted to leave the area in a 2011 Kia Soul by accelerating onto Knightdale Boulevard and then turning onto N. First Avenue as officers attempted to close in on him.

Shabazz quickly lost control of his SUV and slammed into the dentist office of Dr. Sidney Libfraind, officials said. The office was damaged in the crash.

After crashing the SUV, Shabazz ran from the scene and police gave chase on foot, according to the release. A perimeter was established around the area and with the help of the Raleigh Police Department’s K-9 unit, Shabazz was found hiding on the roof of a building on Maple Street.

“It is horrifying and infuriating that someone would endanger the lives and livelihoods of others over a few cartons of cigarettes,” said Knightdale Police Chief Lawrence Capps in the release. “Selfish and aberrant are not strong enough terms to describe this behavior. We are grateful to have the perpetrator in custody but saddened by the impact this will have on two of our local businesses. I am grateful for the attentiveness of our officers, and for the assistance from our friends at the Raleigh Police Department.”

According to officials, Shabazz was taken to WakeMed after complaining of pain related to the crash.

Police said he will be charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, careless and reckless driving, hit-and-run, and several other traffic-related charges.

Once released from the hospital, Shabazz will be transported to the Wake County Detention Center.

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