Tarboro police arrest two suspects in vehicle break-ins

By Brie Handgraaf

Staff Writer

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TARBORO – Police apprehended two suspected criminals who stole from unlocked vehicles in June.

Charles Steven Cook, 25, was charged with six counts each of breaking and entering a motor vehicle and larceny after breaking and entering, two counts of obtaining property under false pretenses and one count each of attempted obtaining property under false pretenses, larceny of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon. He was jailed in Edgecombe County under a $557,000 secured bond.

Nicole Marie Gerdes, 30, was charged with three counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle and larceny after breaking and entering and one count of obtaining property under false pretenses. She was released with an unsecured bond.

Tarboro Police Sgt. Bruce Edwards said six residents in the northwest part of Tarboro called police on June 28 to report items had been stolen from their unlocked cars. Among the stolen property was a 22 magnum pistol and various credit cards.

Investigators tracked wire transfers made with the stolen credit cards and identified Gerdes, who was taken into custody July 8. Further investigative work led police to arrest Cook and recover the firearm – boasting recovery of approximately 90 percent of the stolen items.

“We continue to ask citizens to please lock their doors,” Edwards said. “These are crimes of opportunity with thieves who don’t like to break into property and draw attention to themselves. If we stop making it easy for them, we might curb these crimes of opportunity greatly.”

Edwards also urged residents to be aware of anything strange or suspicious.

“We’ve heard some victims talk about how they heard their dogs barking but they thought nothing of it,” Edwards said. “If you hear dogs barking that don’t normally do that or a noise, call police and let us check it out. We’d rather come out and have nothing be there than come in the morning when residents have discovered a bunch of break-ins.”

Rewards are available for information leading to arrests in break-ins.

To report information about a crime in Tarboro, call the non-emergency number at 641-4247.