David Broyles Staff Reporter
December 6, 2013
B.H. Tharrington Primary School was put into lock down shortly before 2 p.m for a brief period this afternoon after what is being tentatively termed a ” strong arm robbery” in the parking lot of a business on South Main Street near the school.
Officials said the measure was a precaution and that people at the school were not in danger.
Mount Airy School Superintendent Dr. Gregory Little said the move was a precaution and officials never felt Tharrington was in imminent danger.
Mount Airy Police Department Captain Alan Freeman said at 1:36 pm, Officers of the Mount Airy Police Department responded to a call reporting a felony larceny which allegedly occurred in the parking lot of 1384 South Main Street.
Freeman reports the victim told police that he was sitting in his vehicle when a white male approached him and engaged him in conversation. The suspect then reached into the passenger side window and grabbed a bag containing an undisclosed amount of money and other items.
The suspect then fled on foot behind the business and into a wooded area near Bluff Street. Due to the close proximity of B.H. Tharrington Primary School, and the suspect’s direction of travel, school officials were notified and the decision was made to place the school in lock down.
The suspect, described as a white male, 6’ to 6’2’’ wearing blue jeans, a black shirt and a Boston Red Sox ball cap was not located. Members of the Mount Airy Police Department assisted school officials regarding the lock down procedure. The case is still under investigation.
“The police were on our campus within two minutes,” said Little. “Our staff, teachers and administrators and the police did a fantastic job and displayed great teamwork and collaboration.” He said as additional information came in to the school officials made a decision to step back their response and students were dismissed close to their regular dismissal time.
Little said this was an especially hectic time for a lock down to occur on Friday afternoon so close to dismissal and was proud of the response of all involved under the circumstances.
“This is proof to our parents of our commitment to their children and that their children will be safe in the Mount Airy City Schools,” Little said.