Two arrested in rash of B&E’s

Published 10:36 am Friday, July 13, 2012

GATESVILLE – Two are under arrest for allegedly having a hand in a rash of residential and vehicle break-ins in two states.

Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb reported that 16-year-old Tamyra Chantel Hall of 143 Cannon’s Ferry Road, Tyner, and 22-year-old Justin Jacob Berry of 25 Little Island Road, Eure, are allegedly connected with nearly 20 B&E’s as well as three vehicle thefts. Those crimes date back to mid-June.

“It was in June where we started experiencing a rash of break-ins and thefts, especially in the Lee’s Mill and Crosstown communities up in the northwestern corner of our county and in the Eure community,” Webb said.

Meanwhile, Webb was aware of similar crimes just over the state line in the Whaleyville, VA area.

“We’ve been working this case back-and-forth with the Suffolk PD (Police Department),” Webb added. “Their cases and ours were mighty familiar in the method of operation and as far as to what items these criminals were stealing.”

Webb said those stolen items included golf carts, hand tools, lawnmowers, garden tillers, bicycles, home electronics, and GPS units and car stereos in vehicles. He added that a few of the robberies involved the theft of personal checkbooks.

“The items being targeted for theft are those that can easily be sold for quick cash,” Webb said. “As far as checkbooks being stolen, that leads to another level, that of financial fraud.”

Webb said these B&E cases were being investigated by his officers, but the case took a big turn in law enforcement’s favor on July 3.

“We had a report that day of a few break-ins and we responded to investigate,” Webb said. “That night we received a call reporting a suspicious vehicle operating without its headlights in the Lee’s Mill area. Two of our deputies, Garrett Winslow and Brian Johnson, located that vehicle and performed a traffic stop. Low and behold they discovered several bicycles reported stolen earlier that day, leading to the arrest of the two people in that vehicle – Miss Hall and Mr.Berry.”

Webb said he believed the two suspects ditched the bikes in that particular area and had returned under the cover of darkness to retrieve them before being stopped by theGatesCountydeputies.

One day later (July 4), Webb said “the lid blew off this case.”

“Our investigation had produced information that led us to obtain a search warrant for a residence on US 13 North,” Webb said. “It was there that we recovered several stolen items in a crawl space under the residence as well as inside the residence.”

Webb alleged the two suspects were using that residence to hide the stolen items. He added that the owner of the home, a part-time county citizen, had no knowledge of that situation and was not charged.

“She was extremely cooperative with us upon learning of what had happened,” Webb said.

To date, Webb said the two arrests have led his office to solve 13 B&E cases inGatesCounty, five under investigation by the Suffolk Police and one B&E inChowanCounty.

He said Hall andBerryare currently being held under a “substantial bond” in the Hertford County Jail, each charged with several counts of breaking and entering, larceny and possession of stolen property.

“I can’t give you the exact bond at this time because it keeps changing, keeps going up as we are able to tie the two suspects to another crime,” Webb said. “Each crime carries separate charges and I expect those charges and the bond to grow as our investigation continues.”

Webb said he will take these charges before the Gates County Grand Jury on July 23.

“This entire ordeal has proven to be a fantastic effort between the county and state law enforcement agencies and I commend them all for the long hours of work put into this case thus far,” Webb said. “It was a case of good, old fashioned police work. I would also like to thank the citizens, especially the victims, for being patient as we investigated this rash of crimes.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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