12/12/12 — Rash of break-ins occurring at theater

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Rash of break-ins occurring at theater

By John Joyce
Published in News on December 12, 2012 1:46 PM

There have been at least six vehicle break-ins since Oct. 3 at the Premiere Theatre movie complex at 105 10th Place in Goldsboro. Cars have been left with their windows smashed and anything of visible value has been stolen.

Only two incidents took place in October, but the number increased to four in November.

"I don't want to jinx anything, but so far this month we haven't heard anything," said Sgt. Dwayne Dean of the investigations division with the Goldsboro Police Department. The department, he said, is trying to be more proactive than reactive.

"They come in spurts, sometimes in bunches," Dean said.

Dee Taylor knows about them coming in bunches. Her car was one of two broken into at the theater on Nov. 26.

"The theater needs to take some responsibility. I don't feel safe coming here," Ms. Taylor said.

Her fear is that if criminals are not afraid to bust out windows and reach into cars in broad view, what else might they not be afraid to do?

"I have a daughter that goes there, she's 21 years old," Ms. Taylor said.

Inquiries about security at the theater were referred to United Entertainment Corporation in St. Cloud, Minn. Calls to that office were not returned.

Ms. Taylor said she spoke to management at the theater when the robbery happened. She was told that their security cameras only covered the entryways and not the parking lot.

Her purse was stolen out of her vehicle, even though she said it was reasonably hidden, wedged between the back seat and a box. A GPS system was taken from the other vehicle broken into that same day.

Mrs. Taylor said she thought the officers who responded didn't really seem to try to solve anything. They took no fingerprints and did no real search of the area, she said.

The next day, Ms. Taylor's friend found some of her items in and around a dumpster at a nearby hotel, the Days Inn at 801 U.S. Highway 70 Bypass.

They went inside and were told the purse had been found outside and was being held until it was claimed. Some of her items were returned, but Ms. Taylor is still missing her driver's license and credit cards, and a camera that were all inside the purse. The pictures on the camera, unlike the ID cards, she said, are irreplaceable.

"Why did we have to do our own investigation," Ms. Taylor said. "I understand these things are routine to the police, but not to the person it happens to."

Dean said police are doing all they can, but with the economy the way it is, and this being how some career criminals make their living, there is little that can be done to deter such crimes of opportunity.

"This is what their job is," Dean said.

When police do make arrests, many times offenders get probation or short sentences based on the crime they commit. Soon they are back on the streets doing it again.

Dean said he would like to see repeat offenders kept off the street, but "each new case is its own one."

The police do recommend that anytime people are out shopping at strip malls or at the movies that they secure their valuables in the trunk of their vehicle. If there is a GPS or computer, don't just take the system itself down, but the bracket too.

He also said to be sure to keep record of any serial numbers or model numbers on all electronics. If the numbers can be matched up, very often property can be returned to the owner.

"If they see the mount sitting there, that's a pretty good indication there is something of value in that vehicle," Dean said. "The key is not to become complacent."