Man wanted for targeting, robbing elderly people captured in Gaston County

- A man accused of robbing three elderly people in Gaston County at gunpoint is now behind bars. Brian Thad Carver, 42, is charged with armed robbery, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon.

Deputies said Carver was captured Wednesday, March 15 after he was found hiding in a motel room shower at the Red Carpet Inn on Broadcast Street in Gastonia. 

He is currently being held in the Gaston County Jail on a $1 million bond. 

"In a way I didn't believe he would kill me but when you have a gun on you, you don't know, you don't take chances," an 80-year-old man targeted by Carver explained.

"I was very lucky, I was very lucky," a 77-year-old man targeted by Carver said.

Both of these men were afraid to show their faces to our cameras afraid Carver would come back. Both said they knew Carver. He would help them cut their trees during the fall - but this visit was different.

"He came up to my front door, rang the doorbell and said he was out of gas that he needed to use the telephone to get help," the 77-year-old man explained to FOX 46 Charlotte. 

Police said Carver would come up with a 'sob story' to get inside the home, then pretend to make a call. Once inside, he pulled a gun and forced them to give them money. He even kidnapped one of the men.

"He had obviously planned where he was going to take me. It's a very isolated place at the bottom of a long hill and he told me to turn around. When I did, he made me stop."

This 80-year-old man didn't know what Carver had in store for him. Eventually, Carver let him go but he ended up stealing the man's truck. "I probably had a gun pointed at me for the better part of an hour."

"Scary, too scary! It's just unbelievable something like that could happen to people in this little town," one of the victims said.

FOX 46 Charlotte dug into Carver's history and found a record that goes back to the late 90s. In 1997, he was charged with assault and battery. He only got 30 days in jail and 18 months of unsupervised probation. The second time, 1998, same charges, he got away with a prayer for judgment. The third time, 45 days in jail.

Fast forward to 2015, Carver is charged with second-degree rape for allegedly abusing and raping a mentally disabled woman.

One of the victims tells FOX 46 Charlotte, he feels the justice system has failed him.

"The Lincoln County Police and Gaston County Police and detectives, everybody was a professional, very courteous, very efficient. I have nothing but praise for them but when it gets into the court house, it just seems like things don't go right."

These robberies all happened near the home of Ray Jackson, a 90-year-old man who was reported missing on March 8. His body was found under a bridge on Tuesday on Landers Chapel Road. 

Related: Body discovered in Gaston County could be missing man

FOX 46 Charlotte asked Gaston County Police if the cases are connected but at this time the department will not confirm any connection.

Gaston County Police continue to remind all residents to be cautious when considering allowing strangers into their homes.  Anyone who may have further information on this investigation is asked to call the Gaston County Police at (704) 866-3320 or Crimestoppers at (704) 861-8000.

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