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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Every family fears having their home broken into, but one Wilmington family went though something worse. Their 10-year-old son walked into the house while two people were still ransacking the home making him a victim of two crimes.

The neighborhood on White Road is quiet for the most part, but Tuesday afternoon that was not the case. The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office says two people broke into a home in broad daylight. What happened next would scare any parent.

“My youngest son encountered the guys that were in our home when he got off the bus from school,” Ray Cockrell said. “He’s a trooper. He was brave. He was not hurt. He was not harmed.”

Ten-year-old Mason ran out the home, but the burglars chased him down, forcing him back in as they continued to look through the home before running away themselves.

Ray Cockrell says the thieves snatched a few items, including a rifle. Investigators later found the items in a creek behind the home.

“You hear about these things happening to other people. You never expect this to happen to your family,” Cockrell said.

The Cockrells’ neighbors are shocked to hear a crime like this can hit so close to home. They are taking extra precautions to make sure they stay safe and that this doesn’t happen to anyone else in the neighborhood.

“It does put you on alert a little bit,” neighbor Allison Mason said. “We just use caution getting home, looking, making sure everything outside looks normal before I went in just ’cause I know they broke-in through a window.”

The Sheriff’s Office says the home break-in is not the only recent crime off of White Road. There have been several vehicles broken into, as well. Investigators have been busy collecting information on those crimes, but say in many of the car break-ins the doors were unlocked.

As for the Cockrells, they say there is much to learn from what happened Tuesday.

“Your family is all you have; your family and your home, so don’t take for granted those things and make sure you appreciate them,” Ray Cockrell said.

The Sheriff’s Office has not released a description of the two suspects who broke into the Cockrells’ home, but investigators hope to make an arrest soon.

They advise everyone out there to take simple precautions like locking up your car and home.


Comment on this Story

  • Guest t

    I have read all your responses, suggestions and concerns listed below and it saddens me to think that most people are looking for someone else to blame.

    I too, have a young child and feel the same thoughts: if someone tried to harm my child for any reason, i couldn’t even say what i would do!

    Thank god, this family is safe tonight….. sadly, I’m sure they will have a hard time fully recovering from this experience. I know I would.

    Please know you & your family are in our thoughts and prayers during this disturbing time and if we can assist in anyway, please let us know. There really are good neighbors surrounding you that are trustworthy and helpful.

    The fact of the matter is we have a crimewatch in our neighorhood. We have a couple of hundred homes in our area and yet I hate to say but only a couples of families signed up for the last meeting.

    Please understand, when crime was at a high in our neighborhood many, many, many families attended the meetings. As crime dropped, families dropped from the meetings.

    It is not the responsibility of any HOA to protect our homes, neighbors and families. It is our responsibilty, as a community, with the guidance of our local police and sheriff’s office to help and protect each other.

    The sheriff’s office has a great staff to assist your community in developing a crimewatch program in your area. The hard part is finding enough people to join……or to stay concerned when crime is low.

    This message is for all truly concerned…………

    Get to know your neighbors. I’m not asking you to invite them over for christmas dinner but, just a hello or how are you will serfice.

    Let your neighbors on each side of you know you are watching them and thier home.

    If eveyone did this all homes would be protected in your neighborhood.

    There is help and guidance out there to assist you in preventing crime in your area.

    I have to do everything i can to prevent this from happening to my home, what about you??

    What are you going to do to make your home & community a safer place?

    What are you willing to do to make your elders and children safe? My limits are endless with the right resources and the right tools!


  • Grand Ole Party

    How is this not a kidnapping?? Seriously MAJ…can you be anymore ignorant? It meets every single one of the criteria for kidnapping.

  • tommy turner

    the inmates that are allowed to go outside into the community and to do cleaning of the streets or work with the d.o.t. patching pot holes in our roads have earned a right to do so during their time of inncarceration, by not getting into trouble, and most have gotten involved in some kind of 12 step program to maybe turn their lives around and become productive members of society. I know this because i was one of these inmates who had made some wrong turns in my past and ended up in prison ( like most people do at some point in their lives but not got caught) and it may suprise you to know i now have over 3 years sober and have become someone that deserves to live in your neighborhood,which is a good thing since i now live on white rd. maybe instead of jumping to conclusions and speaking as those inmates are always going to be terrible, try giving them some incouragement on trying to do somthing right for OUR community…. TOMMY.

  • Guest99x

    Hey, Little Lady…. wow! Saying “little lady” is so against my left-leaning sense of political correctness…. Here, let me explain something; this is an open public forum and all have the right and ability to speak. If you don’t concur with this, you have the choice to either leave or curl up in a corner with your pacifier and blankie and leave the grown-ups alone to discuss things which interest them, or, join the party! It can be fun at times.

  • Guest19

    Wouldn’t that be HOSTAGE…not necessarily KIDNAP? That’s how the other stations and news reporters are reporting it. KIDNAP usually insinuates a ransom demand.

  • Little Lady

    Such as PICKEY about what stories you want to sensationalize and blow out of proportion or PICKEY about what who what public or private citizen you’re going to terrorize next with your pointless assaults.
    Go back to where you came from. Your behavior shows shows what kind of childish reporter you are.

  • Why do you visit their website if you are so dissatisfied with them? I kind of like the questions they ask, unlike most news organizations around here whose hard questions to the politicians is what they had for lunch.

  • Scott Pickey

    Little Lady – if you’re going to take me to the woodshed, at least spell my name right.


    Scott PICKEY
    WWAY News Director

  • Guest50

    Google NC House Bill 650 and read it. This new law went into effect December 1. Thieves now will consider their lives forfeit if they enter into a house unlawfully. I think they call the castle law. All we need is a few dead robbers to slow down on home invasions.

  • guestbaffled

    Truth needs to be told! Most people are uncomfortable with the truth, but it still must be told. Unfortunately, you are not the bearer of said truth because there is NONE in your post!

  • Guest461

    You have a community, you have neighbors, you have citizens and you all complain, but do nothing except point your fingers. There are many free avenues to help you establish a REAL Community Watch without enlisting criminals! Don’t put Barney Fife in charge of this for Christ’s sake, get serious! Community Watches are established AND effective in many neighborhoods that would make yours look like Beverly Hills. Get a leader, set up patrols, perform background checks if you don’t know who you are dealing with. Meet with and KNOW who your neighbors are.
    A bunch of bumbling idiots chatting over local break-ins while sipping coffee and donuts isn’t going to get it. It takes work people…it also takes commitment and a little common sense. It also happens to be the only defense you have to regain the control of your neighborhood. Everyone needs to be involved…except the criminals. Now, go make it happen together or just give it up and accept your plight. Nobody is going to do it for you!

  • Guest325

    Lets go back back to the old West days. Shoot robbers and theives on sight. After awhile they will get the message that we will not tolerate this crap anymore. Why send them to jail just to get spanked and released.

  • Guest1

    Any one being held against their will whether you actually take them anywhere or not it is still kidnapping. Someone walks into your house and holds you there won’t let you leave is kidnapping you. Kidnapping is the right call on this.

  • Guestuncw11

    I can tell you exactly what has happened to this neighborhood. I’ve lived in this area my entire life. When good ole Wilmington decided to close down the projects to give the poor people nicer living facilities, they shuffled them all to the north end of town. All of the poor people who refuse to work, who live off of the gov’t were put into low income housing. Low income housing in Wilmington would be where cheaper, smaller homes are built. I know, because I owned a home in Alamosa when it went up in the mid 90’s. As a result, the crime rate went way up on this end of town. Its been very sad to see. All because the projects aren’t a good enough place for a certain type of people to live. Well, you can take the people out of the projects, but look what happens as a result. The rest of us suffer, because they don’t change their lifestyle. They still live the same way, with crime and drugs. They just drag it out to where the working man lives, and now we have to deal with it. Sorry if you don’t like the truth, but somebody needs to say it.

  • 2ndammendmant

    Own a gun and know how to use it. The only way to solve this problem is reverting back to the customs that used to be effective. If someone breaks into your home or property, you have the right to defend it. Shoot enough of these crooks, and they’ll get the picture. Case and point: The recent gas station robberies. Two crroks shot. Point taken. Not a single robbery since. Sometimes drastic situations require swift action.
    Now I know there will be the sentimental crowd who say let the law handle it. Let me give you a clear, real life example of our judicial system in action.
    Last year I came home from work to find someone in my house attempting a robbery. I immediately subdued the person and had a neighbor call 911. The crook was arrested and taken to jail. Crook is suspected in at least 5 other recent robberies. Crook makes bail that night and is released. Crook commits 6 more robberies while awaiting trial. Crook goes to trial and gets 12 months and probation. Seriously??? That’s effective? That’s what we are dealing with. This is your wake up call. Take a stand.

  • Guest69696912

    I strongly AGREE with you. The crime watch they set up, it was a laugh….

  • Guestr56443

    So remember that the next time the city council or county commissioners side with some developer when he/she wants to build apartments next to YOUR neighborhood.

  • Little lady

    As long as Scott Pickney is in charge, YESI’m sure their standards can go lower…much lower!

  • guesty

    So if somebody forces you to go with them and you have no choice in the matter, you don’t think it is kidnapping?

    Ten-year-old Mason ran out the home, but the burglars chased him down, forcing him back in as they continued to look through the home before running away themselves.

  • Here’s the kicker

    Here’s a kicker, when I left late for work on Monday morning, there was a sign “inmates working” out on Shenandoah Road. I live in Brittany Woods and the LAST thing that I want to see are inmates working in my neighborhood!! This was early enough for the High School students to be around the neighborhood waiting for their buses. How safe is that? We have to take a stand and take back our neighborhood. Brittany Woods does not have an HOA and I would not rely upon them to help protect my neighborhood anyway. So the question is, what do we do to stop the nonsense. Neighborhood watch should be number 1 on the list. All Subdivisions should work together to get this started.

    Also remember, it is Christmas season, and b&e, robberies, etc are always higher this time of year. Let’s be smart, lock everything. Forget who’s honest and who’s not. It’s not about that, it’s about protecting your family and the valuables that you work so hard for. POINT BLANK…

  • WilmingtonMAJ

    HOW is this a kidnapping? Seriously WWAY…can your journalistic standards get any lower?

  • Guest111

    I am very sorry this happened to this family. This time last year my home was broken into and I walked in on the scumbags. I live in an adjoining neighborhood and this totally fits the m.o. of the thugs that broke into over 40 houses in the same area last year. THEY LIVE IN PARKWOOD AND ALAMOSA! They strike durong the day, usually when school is letting out to fit in with the kids walking home from the bus stop.
    Yes the apartments of Harris have brought in a lot of crime, but a part of that was already here, right in our own back yards. The Sheriff’s department does the best they can patrolling the areas, and has always been responsive to our Community Watch’s requests for extra patrol. The problem lies with the judicial system who after these thugs are caught, gives them probation (in some cases not even monitered) and that’s it. Then as soon as their probation is up, they go and do it again, because they know they are only going to get a slap on the wrist. I used to put a lot of faith in our court system…no longer.

    The bottom line is this: look out for your neighbors, call 911 if you see ANYTHING suspicious, lock your doors (use stop sticks and your alarm system if you have one), and don’t leave valuables in a locked or unlocked car. AND REMEMBER, WE NOW HAVE THE CASTLE DOCTRINE ON OUR SIDE.

  • Guest6969696969

    We, residents of Long Leaf Park, feel your rage about getting “broken-into”…
    From the Details I’ve gleened from this Artical, it seems your “Intruders” are from Lower Income people from a Apartment complex near-by.. Secondly, they are most likely Teen-agers at or just under 18 years of age..

    Though WE here in Long Leaf Park AND Surrounding bussiness have been dealing with these Problems for a Loong time. By the same Token OUR “Theives” are & were “teen-agers” with 1 or 2 that were just over 18. They have broken into over 20 “duplexes” & numerious homes and business’s, plus homes in neighboring SunSet Park, AND yes, were Finally caught.. One is in Jail, one was deported back to Mexico, while the younger “Thugs”, are still out, because the Judge & DA in these cases “felt sorry” for these young Hoodliums, letting them go just about scott free..
    (They should have let the VICTIMS of these “home Invasions” I call’em as thats what they are in reality, deal with these young punks, setting a example, Then I would bet that this wouldn’t happen anymore, or a PUBLIC “caning”/Flogging in front of the courthouse).

    Now again, as other times past, We are seeing a “resurgance” of break-ins again, same “Kids” commiting the same crimes, while the WPD, quoting them, say these Kids are giving them a Major headache,cannot do much except arrest and Let the wheels of Justice turn,

      turning in favor of these Lil Criminals
      …While WE; the Residents, cannot do much except ARM ourselves & use video survailance on our own homes,or get a MEAN Dog, though sometimes even that isn’t helping..While trying to recoup our “losses”, hoping it won’t “happen again”. It’s SAD when one of these Criminals Boost’s on Facebook, “That the Law cannot stop Me”…….

      Residents of White Road, feel blessed that you don’t also have to put up with Crack-houses, and Whores, and Homeless people in your neighborhood also,OUR neigborhood roads mostly treated like “Drag-Strips” for racing 4-wheeler bikes and Pimped out cars, or ILLEGALS driving DWI everyday,(Look around here at our fences in most yards are damaged), as We have to.. Text-a-tip does NOTHING. If your suspected of calling or doing so, your LIFE is in Danger, or your home and Car is then vandalized…

      In Closing, while WE in LLP, feel your “outrage”, do yourself a favor, get a weapon/dog/home survailance.. It does help “somewhat”.
      In addition I’m telling those that can READ, to those punks in Long Leaf Park..
      Trying to set-up a “community Watch” here, ended up with the CRIMINALS them-selves attending, noting the people whom they are to target, or not, getting “Intel” on what your planning to do. Sad but true..

      Ya’ll Lil Thugs, come around MY Home your going to get SHOT , no if’s ands or but’s about it. You going to WISH the police are around to protect YOU from MY WRATH…

      To the MOTHERS of these CRIMINALS, don’t come cring on here or other Local news outlets about “He/She was such a good person Bull-S**T, they committed a crime, or happen to break-into someones home, they DESERVE whats coming…Remember that; as you let those Heathens run loose all hours of the night..It falls on YOU, the PARENTS!
      Signed, a outraged Long Leaf Park Resident

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