Local woman beset with illness, loss after helping solve carjacking

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

SHELL POINT—Shawna Jackson never experienced so much drama in such a short period of time.

Within a matter of a couple of weeks, she helped local law enforcement agencies solve a carjacking in Shallotte, came down with serious food poisoning that has kept her out of work and had her money stolen when her boyfriend left town in the middle of the night.

It’s more than anyone should have to undergo, but this single mother of three is hanging on.

Last month, Jackson was working at the Minute Man in Sunset Beach when a police officer came in showing a picture from a surveillance video showing a man who had carjacked an elderly woman in the Walmart parking lot.

The officer gave her the man’s license plate number and told her to be on the look out.

About an hour later, a man matching the suspect’s description pulled his car right in front of the store window, giving her a perfect view of his license plate. It matched the one the officer had given her.

She immediately called the police, and that night, officers from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and the Shallotte and Sunset Beach police departments caught the suspect.

“He was not nervous or anything,” Jackson recalled. “If he hadn’t pulled up right beside the store, I wouldn’t have known.”

The very next day, her luck ran out.

That morning, she became violently ill and went to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with shigella, a foodborne illness similar to e. coli and salmonella. She’s been on antibiotics and in and out of the hospital ever since.

The same weekend she became ill, her three daughters were spending the weekend with her and her live-in boyfriend. During the night, Jackson says, he took her money from the trailer they shared in Shell Point and drove off in her car.

“Everything hit me at once,” she said.

“I woke up at 3 a.m., and he was gone. The car was gone, and the money was gone. By the time the police got here, he had already left.”

According to the incident report from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson reported her boyfriend stole a credit/debit card worth $250.

But she’s not dwelling on the past. Jackson’s job at the Minute Man is still waiting for her, and her doctor says she can most likely return to work next week. As her health improves, she’s also working on bringing her three daughters to live with her full-time.

First, she plans to return to work, get caught up on her bills and buy a car.

“Everything happens for a reason,” Jackson said. “Something good will come out of it.”