North Fargo neighborhood terrorized by knife-wielding burglar

Knife-wielding burglar steals car from North Fargo woman; is caught hours later.
Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 5:39 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -

A Fargo woman had a rude awakening in the early hours of Thursday morning. Her dog was growling and barking, which was uncommon, so she went to check on what could be bothering her pet. She left her bedroom to find the kitchen cabinets and closet doors were all open. Then, she saw her car driving away.

“The man looked like he had nothing to lose based on the photos I saw of him, and he had 2 large knives just strapped to his thigh,” says Olivia Obembe after seeing surveillance video of the man breaking into her home.

Obembe says, she called police immediately after seeing someone take off in her car without her in it! Cops were on the scene within minutes. She says, “This is some weird stuff, this happens in ‘criminal minds’ not in North Fargo.”

She says the quiet neighborhood has always felt safe. But after the robbery, Obembe couldn’t sleep. Then, her dog started growling again.

“I heed her warning this time and I check right away, I just turn my head and I see my car,” exclaims Obembe. The man who stole her car had returned to apparently rob her again and was sitting in the Fish and Chicken parking lot next door to Obembe’s home. “I feel like that’s thievery 101, don’t go back to the scene of the crime,” she laughs.

Again, Obembe called 911. This time, to report she had seen her stolen car and it was now driving North down Broadway. That’s what helped police find 45-year-old, Robert Down-Wind and the stolen vehicle. According to the incident report, the vehicle was found near Hornbacher’s and Down-Wind was seen walking away, shoeless down the street.

Obembe explains, “That part of the story, everyone just sort of stops and they’re like ‘Really? So he’s that stupid?’ Yeah, he’s that stupid.”

She says the experience didn’t scare her as much as it made her angry. Saying that knowing this man had been in her house, her car, and stole from not just her, but her neighbors, as well, filled her with rage. She also says she hopes everyone Downwind stole from that night will get their stuff back.

“I’d say that we’re a bit shaken, but our community still stands strong together,” says Obembe. A neighbor also said, “He messed with the wrong neighborhood.”

It is also important to note Obembe admitted to leaving the house unlocked that night. Which is something they say they rarely do, but it’s a good reminder to lock those doors every night.

She also says she will be taking precautions in the future, like buying an electronic lock for the door.