Ahoskie break-ins continue

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2007

AHOSKIE – Add five more break-ins to the list.

The Ahoskie Police Department and Hertford County Sheriff’s Office have been extremely busy over the past few days investigating a rash of break-ins.

Early yesterday (Wednesday) morning, a person or persons entered Basnight Home Center on East Church Street. There, according to Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh, the only item reported missing was a bubblegum machine.

“It doesn’t make any difference to the value of the item that was stolen, breaking and entering is a crime and those responsible, upon being apprehended, will be punished for that crime,” Fitzhugh said.

Another break-in was reported Monday morning by the staff at the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce, located on Catherine Creek Road. The office was closed on Friday, March 2, and did not reopen until Monday, March 5.

Upon entering the building, Chamber staff was greeted with a mess as the vandal or vandals had basically “trashed” the office areas. Entry was apparently gained by breaking out a window.

Meanwhile, Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan has his investigators probing three break-ins that took place last week on the outskirts of Ahoskie. All three of the businesses were located within close proximity of each other on US 13 South.

On Feb. 25, employees of A.T. Byrum & Son reported a break-in of their business. Entry was gained by breaking through a rear door of the business.

Three days later (Feb. 28), AmeriGas was the target of a break-in where entry was made by a vandal or vandals throwing a rock through a glass front door.

That same method was used to gain entry to Brittenham’s Rebuilding Service on March 2.

Sheriff Vaughan said in the AmeriGas and Brittenham’s cases, the culprit or culprits stole a vending machine/bubblegum machine. Vaughan added that both items were found on Tuesday at an undisclosed location.

“It sounds to me like we and the Ahoskie Police may be looking for the same person,” Vaughan said.

Both Vaughan and Fitzhugh said their respective law enforcement agencies will work together in an effort to solve the rash of break-ins.

“We’re asking the public for their help in solving these cases,” Fitzhugh said. “Anything they see or hear could be of vital importance, it could give us the lead we’re looking for to solve these crimes.”

Fitzhugh urged the public to call either the Ahoskie Police (332-5011) or the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office (358-7800). He said the caller is not required to give their name, only the information.

The Ahoskie Police Chief also clarified a bit of information released last week to this newspaper in regards to the first two reported break-ins.

In Saturday’s (March 3) edition, Fitzhugh reported Friday morning break-ins at the office of W.H. Basnight & Company (Church Street) and Blanchard Office Supply (Main Street).

During the investigation, Fitzhugh said blood was found in the Basnight office. However, the Chief said the blood was discovered in the Blanchard break-in.