Local law enforcement agencies are investigating a rash of convenience store break-ins this week. Authorities have not ruled out that most, if not all, could be connected.
Between Wednesday and Friday (today), nine store break-ins have occurred in Johnston County.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said break-ins were reported Wednesday morning and Thursday morning at Myers Community Mart at 4321 US Highway 70 E, Smithfield; Barefoot’s Country Store at 3295 US 701 South, Four Oaks; Mac’s General Merchandise at 4432 Hwy 242 South, Dunn; Deans Gas & grocery at 13569 NC 39 Highway, Zebulon; and Brewer’s Grill & Grocery at 11413 NC 42 East, Middlesex.
Early this morning (Friday), a break-in was discovered at Blackmon’s Crossroads Country Store at 5989 Strickland’s Crossroads Road, Four Oaks.
Pine Level Police Chief A.Q. Woodard said the Pine Level Food Mart at 1880 US 70-A was broken into at 2:59am Wednesday. The suspects ran in and grabbed food items, cigarette lighters and a few dollars from an open cash register before fleeing. The suspects were in and out of the business in 30 seconds.
Princeton Police are investigating a break-in discovered early-Wednesday at the Princeton Food Mart on Dr. Donnie H Jones Blvd. No further details were released.
The Marathon – Grill on the Hill at 3405 NC 242 North of Benson was broken into Wednesday morning between 12:48am and 5:00am. Benson Police are investigating.
In most of the cases, security cameras captured three suspects wearing face masks and hoodies use a concrete block to shatter the front glass door. The suspects run in and run out of the businesses, usually taking only 30 to 60 seconds. Authorities said a dark color Dodge Charger has been captured on video at some of the locations.
In some incidents, the cash register was stolen. In others only tobacco products and cigarettes were stolen.
Anyone with information on the suspects or suspect vehicle is asked to contact the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office at 919-989-5000. Callers can remain anonymous.
In the meanwhile, law enforcement agencies have increased patrols at convenience stores until the suspects are apprehended.