Authorities have charged a Cherryville man after a 91-year-old woman confronted by an intruder in her house scared him away when she activated an emergency response system, Cherryville police said.
Authorities charged the man in that case and another residential break-in on Wednesday morning.
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Chad Wayne Bumgarner, 38, of Cherryville was charged with two counts of first-degree burglary and two counts of injury to personal property, authorities said.
Bumgarner was being held in the Gaston County Jail under $150,000 secured bond.
According to Lt. Mike Allred Sr., the elderly woman reported that around 5 a.m. on Tuesday, a man wearing a ski mask and gloves broke into her house on East Church Street and asked for $40.
“She was not in very good health and couldn't get away,” Allred said. “She was scared. She didn't know what would happen next.”
Allred said the woman pushed a button on her electronic Life Alert device, which set off an alarm, and the intruder ran away.
Around 2:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Allred said, a 62-year-old woman was reading on the couch in her living room when the power went off. As she got up to investigate, she looked out the front door and saw a man getting ready to enter her home.
Allred said the suspect had cut the power off at the breaker box.
As the suspect started breaking a window, the woman ran out the back door and called authorities from a neighbor's house, Allred said.
The suspect left a vehicle in the woman's driveway, and police traced it to a residence on Oliver Street in Cherryville.
Allred said there were no injuries in the home invasions and that nothing was taken.