12/30/10 — More than $5,000 worth of equipment stolen

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More than $5,000 worth of equipment stolen

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on December 30, 2010 1:46 PM

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Tidewater Energy on North William Street was burglarized Monday night. Authorities said copper and brass parts were among the items taken.

A thief or thieves cut a hole in a chain-link fence at Tidewater Energy Co. on North William Street on Monday night, pried open shed doors and stole more than $5,860 in equipment.

Detectives with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office said copper, brass, heater parts and other items were taken. The doors to the shed were damaged.

The copper was valued at more than $1,000 and the brass fittings were valued at about $800, according to reports.

Deputies tried to take fingerprints but were unable to retrieve any. The snow surrounding the sheds showed several tracks leading to and from the area, but the snow did not keep its form well enough for deputies to determine whether the theft was the work of one person or several, according to Capt. Tom Effler.

The items stolen were small enough that they could have been moved easily by just one person, he said.

"They took fittings, copper, stuff like that. Parts is what it amounts to," Effler said.

Most likely, the stolen items were taken for their component value, investigators said. The items were mostly parts used in the business.

"A lot of times stuff is stolen for nothing but scrap," Effler said.

Deputies check the local salvage yards "quite a bit" to monitor for any stolen scrap metal, but the thieves often take the metal outside the county to sell it, he said.

Officials are not certain at this time whether the break-in was specifically related to the multiple business break-ins that have taken place in Goldsboro over the last several months. However, it is possible that the same subjects may be behind multiple thefts, Effler said.

"We have no reason to think they are, but a lot of the time they're hitting more than one place," he said.

There are not many county businesses hit by break-in thefts, but there are a lot of reported residential break-ins in the county, Effler said. When deputies do catch suspected thieves, frequently officials find that the subjects are responsible for multiple break-ins and larcenies.