Home invasion suspect arrested

Published 8:45 pm Monday, January 31, 2011

A search by tracking dogs and an alert motorist led to the arrest of a home invasion suspect Thursday.

Fred Clay Reed, 42, was arrested after sheriff’s officials said he forced himself into the home of an 85-year-old woman on Godwin Road.

Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said the victim was able to flee the home and make an emergency call for help.

“We received the 911 call at about 1:30 p.m,” Smith said. “The victim told deputies that a man had forced his way into her home and stole her purse. She told deputies that a white male subject wearing a mask and armed with an ax had broken through her door and forced his way into the residence. He then threatened her and demanded her money.”

Smith said a brief struggle took place between the man and victim, after which the victim was able to escape and leave the residence.

The victim told officers that the suspect exited the residence and ran into a wooded area in front of the residence.

“At that point, canine units from Fountain Correctional and Century Correctional were called to the scene and began tracking the suspect,” Smith said. “Officers and deputies from Flomaton Police Department, Poarch Police Department, Escambia County Florida Sheriff’s Office, Atmore Police Department, and a district attorney’s office investigator responded and assisted in setting up a perimeter while tracking dogs gave chase.”

As the search for the suspect continued during the afternoon, a motorist in the area alerted officers to a sighting of the suspect.

“The suspect came out on the highway near Highway 31 and Old Atmore Road,” Smith said. “The suspect was spotted by a motorist who called and reported the sighting, and deputies were on scene immediately.”

Officers were able to apprehend the suspect and take him into custody without incident, Smith said.

Reed is charged with burglary I, robbery I and theft of property II. He was transported to the Escambia County Detention Center and booked on the charges against him. No bond had been set in the case as of press time.

Smith said canine units were able to recover the victim’s purse, which contained an undisclosed amount of money.

“We would like to thank the public or their assistance in this case which allowed for quick apprehension of this convicted felon,” Smith said. “The suspect was a convicted felon with an extensive past criminal history and had been released from prison in 2008.”

Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department at 867-0304.