A North Carolina college student thought her apartment might be haunted. She had noticed clothes and other items had been disappearing from her room. And when she came home from work on her lunch break on February 2, she heard a strange noise coming from her closet. But it wasn’t a ghost. It was a man inside her closet wearing her clothes, the student told WGHP-TV.
Maddie, a student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, told the news station she called out, “who’s there?” She told WGHP, “And somebody answers me. He’s like ‘oh my name is Drew.’ I open the door and he’s in there, wearing all of my clothes. My socks. My shoes. And he has a book bag full of my clothes.”
Greensboro Police later arrested the man, 30-year-old Andrew Swofford, the department says. “She apparently came home around her lunch break, heard a noise in her closet and found him in there,” Greensboro Police spokesman Ron Glenn told the Greensboro News & Record.
“We always joke that there’s a ghost in here because I’ve been missing clothes since I’ve been living here, like shirts – like a shirt at a time or pants at this time – it makes me think he’s been here before,” Maddie told WFMY-TV.
The incident occurred at the Summit at the Edge Apartments at 1212 Oakland Avenue, police said. Swofford has a lengthy record of arrests in the Greensboro area and he remains in custody at the Guilford County Jail, online records show.
Here’s what you need to know about Andrew Swofford and the bizarre break-in incident:
1. Andrew Swofford Had a Bag of the Student’s Clothes, Tried on Her Hat & Told Her ‘You’re Really Pretty, Can I Give You a Hug?’ While She Waited for Help, She Says
Maddie, a UNC-Greensboro student who asked that WGHP-TV not use her last name, told the news station she came home from work on Saturday, February 2, and heard the strange noise that led to the startling discovery.
“I just hear rattling in my closet. It sounded like a raccoon in my closet,” Maddie told WGHP. Maddie told WFMY-TV, “I just put my hand on the door like this up there and I’m like who’s in there? And he answers me and he’s like ‘My name’s Drew.’ Before I open the door — are you gonna do anything to me? Are you gonna do anything? And he’s like no, no, no.”
Maddie added, “I could feel him starting to push the door open so I was like I guess I have to open the door.”
She told WGHP that she “calmly” waited for help and talked to the man, later identified as Andrew Swofford, to keep him distracted. She called her boyfriend and tried to make an emergency call with her Apple Watch, but it didn’t work. Maddie said the man begged her not to call 911 and she was afraid of what he would do if she did. Instead, she sent her boyfriend photos and kept telling him what was going on.
The college student told WGHP, “He tries on my hat. He goes in the bathroom and looks in the mirror and then is like ‘you’re really pretty, can I give you a hug?’ But he never touched me.”
Maddie told WFMY that she was with Swofford for about 10 minutes before her boyfriend arrived. “He was telling me everything about his life and basically how he got in my closet,” she told the news station. When her boyfriend arrived, Swofford fled from the apartment, Maddie said.
2. He Was Charged With Misdemeanor Breaking & Entering, Police Say
Andrew Clyde Swofford was arrested a block away from the apartment building, Greensboro Police told the News & Record.
Swofford was charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering, police told the newspaper. Police spokesman Ron Glenn told the newspaper that Swofford was “not violent.”
Police did not say how Swofford got into the apartment. Maddie and her roommates said their doors are always locked and they did not see any damage to them.
3. Drew Swofford, a Greensboro Native, Has Several Other Outstanding Charges, Including Identity Theft, Obstruction & Failure to Appear in Court
Drew Swofford is a Greensboro, North Carolina, native, according to his Facebook profile. His social media page reveals few details about him. He wrote in the “About Andrew” section of his page, “If you’re not in to good music, and if that selection of what you call ‘good music’ isn’t a wide variety, then we’re not gona’ to get along.”
Swofford has a history of run-ins with the law and several pending charges in Guilford County, according to the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office website. He has a total of 25 charges against him, including the breaking and entering charge that was brought after his arrest at the college student’s apartment.
He is also facing felony charges of breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering in an unrelated case, along with identity theft, possessing stolen goods and resisting, delaying or obstructing a peace officer. Swofford also has five charges for failure to appear in court in a misdemeanor case and 14 counts of failure to appear in court in a felony case.
Swofford was sentenced to probation in 2013 on felony drug possession charges but had his probation revoked in 2015 and served four months in jail. He eventually spent a year and two months in state prison on drug charges in 2015 and 2016, North Carolina Department of Public Safety records show.
4. He Is Being Held on $26,600 Bail at the Guilford County Jail
Swofford is being held on a total of $26,600 bail at the Guilford County Jail, according to records on the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office website.
Swofford appeared in court on Monday via video conference and remained in custody. It is not clear if he has hired an attorney and he could not be reached for comment by Heavy.
5. The College Student Says She & Her Roommates Once Found 2 Other Men in Their Apartment a Few Months Ago
The apartment building where Maddie and other UNCG students live is close to the Greensboro college’s campus. Maddie told WGHP-TV that the incident with Swofford wasn’t the first time she and her roommates found strangers inside their home. On December 19, they found “two guys in the living room,” Maddie told the news station.
Maddie said they alerted the building’s leasing office. A woman who works at the apartment complex, Summit at the Edge, told WGHP that the locks at the apartment were changed, but a police report was not filed. The employee told the news station that is standard procedure.
“Last night I did not feel safe. I slept with my roommate in her bed. I can’t stay here. My closet, it stinks. Every time I go in [my room] there’s a bad vibe. I’m just ready to leave,” Maddie told WGHP. Later Monday she told WFMY-TV, “I’m leaving tonight, yeah, just signed a lease for a new apartment.”
Burkely Communities, the property management company that oversees Summit at the Edge, told the news station they are going through the details of the incident to determine what happened and plan to work to prevent it from happening again.