NC community terrified as day 3 of manhunt fails to catch suspect with ‘Convict’ tattoo around neck

North Carolina news

DENTON, N.C. (WGHP) — Law enforcement officials are looking for a man they say robbed and assaulted people and is eluding arrest. 

Dustin Diehl has been on the loose for three days.

“I was like, ‘what am I going to do? I have my grandson here, and this fugitive is at my door,’” said Tammy Mabe, of Randolph County. 

Mabe’s 7-year-old grandson, Liam, almost opened the door for Diehl until he got a good look at his face. 

“It was so scary to see his face right there in my door,” Mabe said. 

Mabe called the police as Diehl tried to get into a home on Jackson Creek Road. Deputies say he broke in, pointed a gun at the homeowner and stole her car. 

That’s what prompted a high-speed chase into the woods in Davidson County. 

As WGHP reporters were walking through the area Friday, a man named Michael Potts was trying to tow the van out of the brush. 

Potts said he’s known Diehl since he was a baby. 

“I don’t think he’ll turn himself in. I honestly don’t,” Potts explained. 

Potts believes Diehl can survive alone in the woods. He said he’s done it before and will do anything to avoid getting caught.  

Troopers have sent a helicopter from Raleigh but couldn’t find Diehl, who has various tattoos including CONVICT around his neck.

“He’s done a lot of stealing and stuff like that, and I think he’s done some robberies, but I don’t think he’s ever physically hurt anybody. But things change,” Potts said. 

While deputies from Davidson and Randolph counties search for Diehl in several cities and at old hangouts and try to talk to his acquaintances, people living where he’s been spotted are worried about him showing up at their homes.  

“Hopefully, this guy gets caught and put away to safety,” Mabe said. 

A spokesperson with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office told WGHP there have not been any sightings of Diehl. 

They’ve had teams out looking for him all day.  

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