Ahoskie Police solve BE case

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 23, 2004

AHOSKIE – An Ahoskie man is behind bars, jailed on a $147,000 secured bond, in connection with a rash of vehicle break-ins that have plagued the town since March 2.

Newly appointed Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh reported yesterday (Monday) that William Earl Moore Jr., 20, of 508 Ahoskie-Cofield Road confessed to 29 of the 32 break-ins. The other three remain under investigation.

Moore was arrested during the early morning hours of March 19 after Ahoskie Police Department Sgt. Michele Garrett and Officer Mike Henry observed him acting in a suspicious manner in an area near New Ahoskie Baptist Church.

&uot;Sgt. Garrett was on patrol in that neighborhood, well aware of the previous break-ins,&uot; said Chief Fitzhugh. &uot;She called in Officer Henry for assistance and the two began to closely study his actions.&uot;

Fitzhugh continued, &uot;Apparently, Mr. Moore became aware that he was being observed and he took off running. The officers were able to overtake him and began questioning him of why he was out on the street that early in the morning and why did he run.&uot;

Chief Fitzhugh reported the answer given to Sgt. Garrett was that Moore was running from his girlfriend, who he said was bothering him.

&uot;At that point, Sgt. Garrett asked Mr. Moore for consent to search his person, to which Mr. Moore agreed,&uot; stated Fitzhugh.

That search revealed a cell phone in his right front pocket. Additionally, the officers retraced the route in which Moore ran and discovered another cell phone on the ground. That one was reported stolen from a vehicle on March 17.

&uot;We believe Mr. Moore discarded that cell phone while attempting to flee,&uot; noted Fitzhugh. &uot;We had enough on him at that point to arrest him for possession of stolen property.&uot;

However, the best was still yet to come.

After Moore was processed and transported to the Hertford County Jail, three other reports of breaking/entering and larceny came into the Ahoskie Police Department early on the morning of March 19. Those reports were logged in by Sgt. Jeanette Mathias where one witness said they could make a positive identification of the suspect.

&uot;We did a photo line-up and that witness did indeed identify Mr. Moore as the person they saw on their property,&uot; said Chief Fitzhugh.

Armed with that information, Sgt. Mathias visited with Moore at the Hertford County Jail at which time he confessed to other break-ins.

Moore stands charged with 29 felony counts of breaking and entering into a motor vehicle, 12 counts of misdemeanor larceny, three counts of possession of stolen property and two counts of injury to personal property.

&uot;I would like to commend Sgt. Garrett and Sgt. Mathias for their quick work and their professionalism,&uot; said Chief Fitzhugh. &uot;Because of their actions, we were able to take this suspect off the street and bring closure to this case.&uot;

The rash of break-ins began on March 2 and were carried out at various locations throughout town. All occurred between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

&uot;The suspect would hit a couple of streets in the same neighborhood on one night and then switch to another neighborhood,&uot; said Chief Fitzhugh.

Among the items reported stolen were cell phones, currency, coins, clothing, a pocket book, make-up case, an assortment of CD’s, tax papers, a leather bag and two bottles of alcohol.