04/13/10 — City police still seek Internet cafe thief

View Archive

City police still seek Internet cafe thief

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on April 13, 2010 1:46 PM

Submitted photo

Goldsboro police are looking for this man in connection with the robbery of an Internet cafe.

Police are still looking for a man caught on video during a robbery of an Internet cafe on South Berkeley Boulevard last week.

Sgt. Chad Calloway said police do not have the man's name, but because the picture of the man's face is so clear, investigators have high hopes of finding the suspect.

"The picture's fortunately a good picture," Calloway said. "We feel like if people see it, we're going to get some information about who this is."

The business, called Cyber Connect 2, at 207 S. Berkeley Blvd., is one of about seven located inside the city limits, according to police.

The businesses have been the subject of recent local legislation.

As of June 1, a change to Goldsboro's Code of Ordinances will require a $2,500 licensing fee and a tax of $1,000 per machine.

Goldsboro Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra called the businesses lucrative, and said the new ordinance is the first step toward exercising some sort of control over the enterprises.

Critics of the parlors call them thinly veiled ways to gamble without breaking the law.

Patrons to the businesses pay for "Internet access," but that also includes entrance into "sweepstakes" games that carry cash prizes.

Some residents, like Alan Kornegay of Goldsboro, say that they often spend quite a bit of money in the Internet parlors. Kornegay frequents the victimized business, Cyber Connect 2.

"When I get in a fever, I'll sometimes drop $100," on the games, Kornegay said, adding that many of the people he knows frequent the centers.

Calloway said Goldsboro City Council members and police have looked into whether the businesses are legal.

From the information they have gathered, they believe the parlors are operating within the law, the sergeant said.

"At this point, everything that we can tell, is that it is a legal business at this point," Calloway said. "We've not found anything that says it's not legal."

However, should city council make an ordinance change that causes the businesses to go afoul with the law, police would take action, he said.

"If the city council comes up with some sort of ordinance, we'll enforce it," he said.

In the meantime, Calloway recommended that the parlors, like all businesses that process cash, take actions that allow police to better pursue criminals.

"They just need to take precautions, just like a bank, or convenience store, any of these places like this that have money on hand," Calloway said. "Video, obviously, is a good step which this one (robbery victim Cyber Connect 2) has."

When money is collected, a proper protocol should be put in place to discourage robberies, the sergeant said.

"The monies that are kept there, should be in a separate area, one that (is) not accessible to the public, in some kind of secured location."

Maj. Jeff Stewart said police are treating the robbery of Cyber Connect 2 seriously.

"If anyone has any information, please call," he said.

Anyone with information can submit it anonymously by calling the Crime Stoppers hotline, at 735-2255.