Pinehurst Police Make Arrests in String of Break-ins
The smallest things often help police break big cases. For Pinehurst police, it was a $3.99 stain remover that helped solve a string of burglaries.
Police say the theft of the Tide stain-removing pen and a keen-eyed convenience store clerk helped them make two arrests this week in connection with a string of unsolved burglaries and recover thousands of dollars worth of stolen items.
This past weekend, a clerk at the Short Stop on Rattlesnake Trail spotted a man who stole a Tide stain-removing pen. The suspect then came back the next day.
Police say the clerk, recognizing the man, gave a description of him and the red pickup truck he was driving, according to Pinehurst Deputy Police Chief Floyd Thomas.
"It was a $3.99 Tide pen," Thomas said. "That is all he took, and the store employee saw him do it."
From the information provided by the clerk, police on Sunday tracked down the suspect. They arrested Tyler Sweeney Dawson, 23, of 16 Cedar Lane, Pinehurst. He now faces 50 charges related to break-ins and burglaries that happened in early November and this weekend.
"I feel very confident that all of our open burglaries are related to this individual," Pinehurst Police Chief Earl Phipps said of Dawson following his arrest.
On Monday, officers arrested a second suspect, Dustin Gerard Euston, 23, of 126 Fuller's Way, Aberdeen. Euston has been charged with two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of stolen goods, according to the Moore County jail site.
Officers searched Euston's home on Fuller's Way and recovered several items believed to be from those burglaries, Phipps said.
Euston was placed in the Moore County jail under a $40,000 secured bond.
Police are still investigating the case, and more charges could be filed.
Thomas said he believes police have recovered "more than $10,000 worth of stolen items."
Dawson is charged with 12 counts of possession of stolen goods, 11 counts of felony larceny, five counts of breaking or entering a motor vehicle, four counts each of first degree burglary and injury to personal property, two counts each of larceny after breaking and entering, misdemeanor larceny and possession of stolen goods or property, and one count each of break and enter a place of worship, breaking and entering and larceny of a firearm in connection with incidents in November.
He is also charged with possession of stolen goods/ property and shoplifting/ concealment of goods in connection with one incident on Sunday, and breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering and possession of stolen goods in connection with another.
Officers patrolling Sunday afternoon noticed a red pickup truck fitting the description from the convenience store larceny parked at a home on Medlin Road off McIntyre Road. Officers approached the house and asked the vehicle's owner for permission to search his vehicle.
Officers found golf items and a cellphone in plain view that had been taken in an earlier burglary Sunday morning. At that point, Dawson was taken into custody and officers obtained a search warrant for the home.
The suspect was found to be wearing shoes that matched earlier cast impressions from burglaries in November. Several stolen items were recovered during the home search.
During the burglaries, the suspect took mainly golf gear and small electronics, including laptops, cellphones and iPads.
The department's newly formed shift investigative units worked with the U.S. Marshall's Fugitive Task Force to prepare search warrant documents to gain access to the phone locations and the physical locations of identified IP addresses used by the suspect to download songs purchased on the stolen electronics, Phipps said.
Thomas said police had spoken with Dawson twice during the ongoing investigation of the burglaries, but he was not a suspect then. The burglaries occurred within blocks of where Dawson was living.
The investigation in this matter is continuing. Anyone with information in the case should call the Pinehurst Police Depart-ment at (910) 295-3141.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or tembrey @thepilot.com.
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