Wake Forest University Police vehicle stolen off-campus

By Maggie Barrett
October 31, 2005

A vehicle driven by Wake Forest University Police Chief Regina Lawson was stolen by an unidentified man around 4 p.m. Oct. 28 at an off-campus location.

The Winston-Salem Police Department is investigating the theft. No one was injured.

When the unmarked police vehicle was stolen, Lawson immediately contacted Winston-Salem Police to report the theft and inform them of the direction in which the vehicle was traveling. Winston-Salem Police began searching for the vehicle at once and notified other local law enforcement agencies to look for it. The vehicle, a white, 2000 Ford Explorer, has not been found.

Lawson regularly drives the vehicle on and off campus. The North Carolina license plate is MWD-4124. The sport utility vehicle was equipped with a blue light and contained police equipment. No firearms were in the vehicle.

Lawson told Winston-Salem Police she had driven the vehicle to $2.75 Cleaners at 5025 University Parkway. The business is located at the end of a long strip shopping center. Lawson said people were walking or driving around the area at the time. She drove to the curbside entrance of the dry cleaning business, stopped and exited the vehicle, leaving the car running with the keys in the ignition.

As she was entering the cleaners, an unidentified man got into the driver's seat and started to drive away. Lawson attempted to stop him by grabbing the handle on the driver's door. The man rapidly accelerated and drove onto nearby Home Road toward Indiana Avenue.

Lawson described the man as a black male in his 50s, approximately 6 feet tall and 160 pounds. He was wearing a gray blazer, black shirt and dark pants, and was carrying a shoulder bag.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Winston-Salem Police Department at (336) 773-7700 or Winston-Salem Crime Stoppers at (336) 727-2800.