County credits video in theft arrest
By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 6, 2010 1:46 PM
The investigation is continuing into how a man gained entry last month to the Wayne County Courthouse annex. However, county officials Tuesday morning were singing the praises of the video surveillance system that captured the image of the suspect that led to his arrest.
County commissioners backed up that praise by appropriating $45,000 to purchase computer servers that will be used exclusively to store surveillance video.
Brent Mannis, 27, whose last known address was N.C. 58 North in Trenton, has been charged in connection with the Sept. 24. break-in. He has been charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny and felonious possession of stolen goods and is being held in the Lenoir County Jail under a $30,000 bond.
Mannis was already in the Lenoir County Jail after being arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Several annex offices were ransacked and in some cases windows were broken or doors pried open to gain entry. At least one of the courtrooms was entered as well.
The break-in was discovered just after 5 a.m. Sept. 25 when Assistant District Attorney Mike Ricks came in to take care of some paperwork.
Several briefcases were discovered hidden behind the bushes next to the building that line the ramp leading to the courthouse annex's William Street entrance.
County Manager Lee Smith told commissioners at their Tuesday meeting that the images captured by the system were instrumental in the apprehension of Mannis and should serve as a warning to others who might have similar criminal intent.
Less than 36 hours after the break-in the suspect was in custody, he said.
"One of the things we are doing, and this is not part of the video arraignment system, we have been installing cameras throughout our (county) buildings," he said. "They are in public areas. We are adding about 15 more. We want to let the people out there know that if you come to the courthouse after hours then their pictures are going to be on television and newspaper. We are going to find you.
"We are adding some servers so that we can store that data. The county is separating the security video from the (computer) system and additional servers are needed because video takes up so much storage space on a hard drive."
The images cannot be "ghosted" and have to be saved on a hard drive, he said.
"Our camera system did its job," Smith said. "We have cameras in all buildings. That was a real help. Everybody did a great job in getting the guy. We record in our public areas in all of our buildings."
People who try to enter the buildings after hours or with criminal intents then "we have you on camera," Smith said.
In other business, commissioners appointed James A. Sutton to the eastern Wayne Sanitary District. Sutton will complete the unexpired term of Kivett Ivey, who has stepped down.
Commissioners also approved two proclamations.
Oct. 7 was named Dave Odom Day in Wayne County in honor of Odom, a Goldsboro High School graduate, and well-know successful basketball coach.
Odom, who has coached at Virginia, Wake Forest, East Carolina and South Carolina, has returned to Goldsboro to encourage the community to support efforts to make improvements at the Paley Unit of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wayne County.
The week of Oct. 4 was proclaimed as Leadership Week in Wayne County.County video