Authorities investigate string of burglaries at U.S. Cellular stores

By Brie Handgraaf

Staff Writer

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Authorities across the region are investigating a spree of break-ins at U.S. Cellular stores that started Sunday night and ended early Monday morning.

The first incident was reported around 11:30 p.m. Sunday on Premier Boulevard in Roanoke Rapids. Authorities said the suspects broke a glass front door, stole three cellphones valued at $1,500 and fled before police arrived.

Tarboro police received a burglary alarm call shortly before 6:30 a.m. at the U.S. Cellular store on the 1700 block of Howard Boulevard. Sgt. Al Braxton said the suspects shattered a side window and stole more than $20,000 worth of cellphones and fled the scene.

A K-9 track was conducted, but the trail ended and the suspects were not captured. No information on a getaway vehicle was released.

Rocky Mount police responded within an hour from the Tarboro incident to a break-in at U.S. Cellular at 1440 Jeffreys Road. Authorities said a glass door pane was smashed with a rock, activating the security system and alarm. According to police reports, the suspects burglarized the business but fled without any merchandise.

One suspect is described as a black man wearing a black leather jacket, a black hood, black pants and black gloves with black and white shoes. The two other suspects are described as black males wearing a heavy camouflage jacket, a camouflage hood, black pants and white leather gloves.

Authorities are investigating whether the suspects in the spree are related to other break-ins in the past. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 977-1111 or Text a tip to police at 274637 by beginning messages with RMPOL to direct the tip to the Rocky Mount Police Department and type up to 155 characters about the information.

Tarboro police can be reached at 641-4247 while Roanoke Rapids authorities can be reached at 583-4444.