Police: Suspected cigarette thief led cops on chase, crashed into dentist office, found on rooftop | The Wake Weekly
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Police: Suspected cigarette thief led cops on chase, crashed into dentist office, found on rooftop

Posted on January 14, 2021

CrimeLocal newsTop news

Stock image | Pixabay

KNIGHTDALE — A Raleigh man was charged Thursday morning with burglarizing a cigarette store, then leading officers on a brief car chase that ended when he crashed into a dentist's office.

The Knightdale Police Department said Hajj Abdul Shabazz, 52, was then arrested following a foot chase.

The incident began when an officer tried to stop a suspicious 2011 Kia Soul around 1 a.m. that was traveling through the Smithfield Crossing parking lot without lights on. The driver fled the scene by accelerating onto Knightdale Boulevard, according to a press release. Then he made his way onto North First Avenue.

The driver lost control of the vehicle at the North First Avenue and Smithfield Road intersection, striking Knightdale Dental Care, 106 N. First Ave. The driver fled on foot, police said.

With help from the Raleigh Police Department K9 unit, he was found hiding on top of a roof on Maple Street around 1:20 a.m. and taken into custody.

Officials said Shabazz fled from Smithfield Crossing because he had burglarized the Smoke Times store in the complex.

“It is horrifying and infuriating that someone would endanger the lives and livelihoods of others over a few cartons of cigarettes,” said Police Chief Lawrence Capps. “Selfish and aberrant are not strong enough terms to describe this behavior. We are grateful to have the perpetrator in custody but saddened by the impact this will have on two of our local businesses. I am grateful for the attentiveness of our officers and for the assistance from our friends at the Raleigh Police Department.”

Shabazz was transported to WakeMed Hospital after complaining of pain related to the accident, officials said. He will be charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, careless and reckless driving, hit-and-run and other traffic-related offenses, police said.

Once he is released from the hospital, Shabazz will be transported to the Wake County Detention Center, police said.

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