LAURINBURG – A Laurinburg man accused of trying to break into multiple homes, kidnapping and stealing and then crashing a car was arrested Monday morning while trying to gain entry into a daycare center.
Joshua Adam Grooms, 29, of Lees Mill Road, has been charged with one count of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of breaking and entering to terrorize.
His family said he had been high on drugs.
The incident began around 9 a.m. when authorities received “simultaneous” calls concerning a man breaking into homes, stealing a car and fleeing the scene of an accident, according to Assistant Police Chief Cliff Sessoms.
A Mill Street resident reported to police that she observed a man, later identified as Grooms, banging on her door and yelling before he jumped the fence and forced his way into a residence on Marcella Street. Three adults and one child were in the residence at the time, according to police.
“The suspect was forcibly removed by the occupants,” Sessoms said.
Grooms then approached a Dodge Caliber that was stopped on Marcella Street, according to Sessoms. He forced his way into the passenger door and told the driver and two juveniles to get out, Sessoms said.
“He struck two vehicles as he fled the area,” Sessoms said.
Police said Grooms did not have a weapon.
Grooms then drove to King Street where he crashed the car into a chain-link fence and fled on foot, according to police.
Grooms attempted to enter a daycare center located on King Street operated by Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, police said. Unable to gain entry he ran into another daycare building connected to the church.
Sessoms said daycare workers tried to convince Grooms to leave, but “he stated that someone was trying to kill him.”
Grooms was taken into custody at the daycare.
He was placed under a $125,000 secured bond, according to Sessoms.
Priscilla Graham director of the center could not comment on the incident, but she expressed gratitude to the police department.
“We are glad it’s over and our children are safe and that the police responded in such a timely manner,” she said.
Grooms was also charged with one count of attempted breaking and entering to terrorize, one count of common law robbery, one count of felony hit and run, one count of misdemeanor hit and run, one count of driving while license revoked, and one count of second-degree trespassing.
Grooms’ brother, Brandon, said his sibling is addicted to Molly, also known as MDMA or Ecstasy. He said Joshua had been awake for a week as a result of doing the drug. An employee at Nic’s Pic’ Kwik on North Main said that Joshua Grooms was in the store around 8:30 a.m. claiming he was in danger.
“After about four or five days he started having hallucinations and saying people were trying to shoot him,” Brandon Grooms said.
He added that Joshua has no memory of what happened Monday morning.
“I know he was wrong for what he did,” Brandon Grooms said. “But my brother wouldn’t hurt no kids. He would steal to support his drug habit, but he wouldn’t hurt no kids.”
Joshua Grooms has a criminal record dating back to 2005. He has served time for felony common law robbery, misdemeanor assault on a child, felony possession with intent to sell of a schedule II drug, assault on a female and possession of a weapon by a felon and multiple charges of larceny.
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169