Five charged in county break-ins
By Gary Popp
Published in News on October 27, 2010 2:01 PM
By GARY POPP
News-Argus Staff Writer
Five men will face charges in connection with a string of break-ins, which included the theft of 16 weapons as well as high-dollar electronics.
In addition to the local arrests, law enforcement officials say four of the men will face federal firearms charges. The fifth is a juvenile, therefore he cannot be charged under a federal indictment.
Wayne County Sheriff's Office investigators say they believe that the men may be responsible for more than the three break-ins for which they are being charged.
Capt. Tom Effler said several of the men's names have come up in other investigations into thefts around the county. The break-ins have occurred in Dudley, New Hope and the Highway 111 South areas.
"The group was targeting homes with firearms," Effler said.
Also stolen were laptops, flat screen televisions and other electronic items as well as jewelry.
Those arrested included:
* Dylan Crabtree, 18, Carla Ann Drive, Pikeville, two counts of breaking and entering, larceny and three federal firearm indictments.
* James Jones, 18, Lakewood Avenue, Dudley, a federal firearm indictment.
* James Smith, 20, Southern Plaza Drive, Dudley, one count of breaking and entering, larceny and two federal firearm indictments.
* Walter Bailey, 18, Slick Rock Road, Goldsboro, two counts of breaking and entering, larceny and four federal firearm indictments.
Some of the individuals are believed to be associated with gangs, Effler said.
While the Sheriff's Office charged the men with the breaking and entering, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is responsible for the firearm indictments.
"The ATF was instrumental in gathering evidence, and they led the way for the federal charges," Effler said.
The stolen firearms initially recovered by the Sheriff's Office are believed to have been transferred between the individuals. After some members of the group stole the guns, they worked in concert with the others to transfer or to sell the firearms, Effler said.
"If one guy was doing a break-in, he might sell it or give it to another one of the guys to sell," he said.
Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders said his office has been aggressively pursuing this investigation since the first reports of the break-ins.
The suspects were arrested in an early morning roundup by the Sheriff's Office Investigation Division assisted by officers from the Warrant Squad and Civil Division.
Additional charges may be pending.
"We hope these arrests send a clear message to criminals," Winders said.