Tarboro police have solved a number of thefts from motor vehicles throughout the historic district and east Tarboro with the arrest of a 53-year-old Tarboro man with an arrest record dating back to 1985.

About 9 p.m. on March 31, members of the Tarboro Police Department began responding to various reports throughout the historic district and east Tarboro about thefts from motor vehicles.

Because of the number of reports filed, members of the Investigations Division began providing assistance.

During the investigation, officers developed a likely suspect based on a description provided by an eyewitness and were able to positively identify the man after locating and reviewing video surveillance.

Investigators were able to quickly locate the suspect — identified as George Junior Dickens — and determined that he was not only responsible for the recent thefts but also had committed similar acts in the same area several days earlier.

Police said in a press release that Dickens cooperated with the investigation and most of the stolen property was recovered, including a handgun and computer.

Dickens was charged with 11 counts of felony breaking and/or entering a motor vehicle, four counts of felony larceny after breaking and/or entering, one count of felony attempted breaking and/or entering a motor vehicle and one count of felony larceny of a firearm.

Dickens was jailed under a $5,000 bond in the Edgecombe County Detention Center and additional charges are pending as the investigation continues.

Police Chief Jesse Webb said his agency is grateful for the observant eyewitnesses who helped identify Dickens.

“We also would like to encourage everyone to develop a daily routine of locking all the doors on your vehicle and securing or hiding any valuables left inside,” he said. “And please don’t forget to always remove and secure firearms whenever a vehicle is left unattended.”

Dickens’ problems with law enforcement began in 1985 in Martin County before moving to Edgecombe County in 1989. He also has been arrested in Bertie, New Hanover and Craven counties and has more than 50 entries in his state Department of Corrections offender database.

For his most recent incarceration, he served a little over two years and nine months after being convicted as a habitual felon in New Hanover County. His parole ended Nov. 12, 2020.

In September 2020, Tarboro police arrested and charged Dickens with five counts of felony breaking and entering of a motor vehicle, three counts of felony larceny after breaking and entering and one count of attempted breaking and entering of a motor vehicle.