NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A man and woman from Hampton Roads are now in custody after authorities say they tried to orchestrate an armed home invasion and robbery in New Jersey.
The incident occurred On September 24. Officers from Marlboro Township Police responded to a call for an attempted home invasion around 5:30 a.m. that day.
When they got to the scene, police learned that the alleged suspect had left the scene in a vehicle with Virginia plates just minutes after attempting to enter the home through a rear patio door while brandishing an AK-47-style rifle.
A patrolman located the vehicle and initiated a pursuit, but soon broke it off due to excessive speed and the associated risk to public safety.
The man in the vehicle was later identified as 21-year-old Hampton resident Acori Knox.
Knox’s girlfriend, 24-year-old Lauren McNeil, of Newport News, was one of several people present as guests at the home at the time of the incident, and it was revealed that she and Knox had planned the home invasion via text messages ahead of time, police said. Investigators said the two were “seeking to restrain the homeowner while robbing him of cash and personal effects.”
Knox was arrested on October 25 and McNeil on Nov. 2. Both are awaiting extradition proceedings and a first appearance and detention hearing to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court.
Convictions on first-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by terms of up to 20 years in state prison, while second-degree convictions can result in terms of up to 10 years.
Anyone with information about this matter is still being asked to contact MCPO Detective Aaron Shaw at 800-533-7443 or Marlboro Township Police Department Detective Edward Ungrady at 732-536-0100.