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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A man investigators say is a career criminal and a registered sex offender is back behind bars after allegedly breaking into a Pender County home this morning.

Deputies responded to a report of a burglary at 261 Porter Rd. in Currie around 12:15 a.m. The homeowner told them she was awaken by a noise and found a man in her bedroom. After the victim called out to her son, who was also in the home, the suspect walked into her son’s room and then walked out of the back door of the house.

Deputies say they caught the suspect, Tashawn Lamar Southward, 34, of Currie, walking down the road near NC 210 and Brinson Road. Southward is charged with first-degree burglary, breaking and entering and larceny. He is in jail under $1 million secure bond.

Investigators say Southward broke into the victim’s outbuilding and removed a chair he put under a window to get into the house.

The NC Department of Corrections website shows Southward got out of prison Aug. 9 after serving more than a year for failing to notify of a change of address as a sex offender. His criminal history includes convictions for indecent liberties with a child, attempted rape, breaking and entering and other crimes.

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