Man Caught By Police Linked To Clayton, Benson Break-Ins

Some old-fashioned police work helped stop a man in the middle of a robbery spree early Monday.

Clayton police officers Erick Martinez and Jonathan Guider were walking down Main Street shortly after midnight  when they heard a loud noise that sounded like glass being broken. The officers quickly followed the direction of the sound and discovered someone had broken the glass in the storefront at Clockwise and Otherwise a full-service clock and watch repair shop at 335 East Main Street.

While investigating that break-in, the officers heard more glass breaking and were able to spot a man running down Main Street toward Smith Street. Officers were able to locate the man and take him into custody.

Shattered glass was later discovered just down the street at the Jewelry Design Studio, located at 417 East Main Street where luckily nothing was taken. And right across the street from that jewelry store, a car parked at Earp’s Tire Service had been broken into and property was stolen.

32-year-old John Christopher Lee Dant of Stacey Court, Benson is charged with three counts of breaking and entering for attempting to rob two Downtown Clayton shops and stealing several  items from a car parked at third.

Dant was also charged by Johnston County deputies with breaking into Atlantic Gun & Pawn at 11760 Highway 210, Benson around 11:45pm Sunday. During the break-in, 6 holsters and 4 knifes were stolen.

Dant was also wanted on outstanding warrants from Georgia.

“I’m extremely proud of these officers,” said Clayton Police Chief Blair Myhand. “They were working their beat as any good officer should do. We want people to know, if you’re going to break into downtown businesses, we’re going to catch you, perhaps even in the act.”