04/16/10 — Would-be burglars had bad timing

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Would-be burglars had bad timing

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on April 16, 2010 1:46 PM

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Larry Barnes Jr.

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Gary Octavious Willis

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Two men who allegedly burglarized a home near Seven Springs on Tuesday had poor timing -- breaking in almost immediately after two Sheriff's Office detectives served a warrant at a house next door, authorities said.

The officers, who were only a few miles away, heard a call come over the scanner just after leaving the house and immediately returned. With the help of neighbors, who kept calling the dispatcher with sightings of the thieves, the deputies were able to apprehend two suspects.

Gary Octavious Willis, 23, of Vance Street, Fremont, and Goldsboro resident Larry Barnes Jr., 27, of North George Street, each face one count of felony-level breaking and entering, felonious larceny and possession of stolen goods. Willis was jailed under a $10,000 bond and Barnes under a $4,999 bond and both men were still incarcerated this morning.

Authorities are still looking for the driver of a white Cadillac who allegedly dropped the men off. She was described as a white woman of medium build, about 5-feet-8 with a ring in her tongue.

Sheriff's Office Detective Sgt. Mike Kabler and Detec-tive Lt. Carl Lancaster had just served a warrant at a home next door to the Dog Pond Road home of Johnny Smith Jr. and his wife, Collette.

"We had a warrant on another guy who just happened to live a house down from where this took place," Kabler said. "We notice a guy in the next yard ... working in the house down there."

Soon after the two detectives left, a call came over the radio.

"We heard about the break-in over the radio, and we turned around and tried to get there," Kabler said, adding that the residents of the home had meanwhile confronted the robbers.

With the help of repeated residents' calls, Kabler and Lancaster were able to catch up to Willis in a matter of minutes.

Then, after a witness gave a description of Barnes' clothing, patrol deputies and canine officer Jayson Hill found the suspect hidden in underbrush in a wooded area not far from the crime scene.

The detective said all of the property taken in the robbery was found near the road by the residents, and was returned to the Smiths.

The Cadillac had a child's car seat in it, detectives noted.