Clayton police say three man face 81 charges in a string of car break-ins.
On Sept. 6, residents in Riverwood Athletic Club reported at least 14 car break-ins throughout the sprawling neighborhood. Police Chief R.W. Bridges said he thinks three men went from house to house in Riverwood, targeting unlocked cars and taking GPS devices, credit cards and loose change.
Bridges said his department used information obtained from other break-ins and a police chase in Franklin County to connect the three men to the Clayton thefts.
Christian Alston, 18, of Cary, Dyvante Alexander McKnight, 21, of Raleigh and Anthony Gray Jr., 17, also of Raleigh, face 23 counts each of breaking and entering a motor vehicle, one count of larceny of a motor vehicle and three counts of misdemeanor larceny.
The Clayton Police Department is one of several agencies with charges against Alston, McKnight and Gray. Bridges said the three men are linked to break-ins in other counties, and he added that his department worked closely with the Johnston, Wake and Franklin county sheriff’s offices, in addition to Raleigh Police Department.
Alston already faces 19 counts of larceny and other charges in Wake County. He’s in the Wake County jail. McKnight and Gray are in the Franklin County jail on similar charges.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office responded to about 20 car break-ins last month in the Pine Hollow and Fieldstone subdivisions near the Interstate 40-N.C. 42 interchange. However, the office has not charged anyone in the break-ins, which also occurred in West Clayton Mobile Home Park, said Tammy Amaon, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.
The new charges come just a few days after Clayton police charged an Angier-area man in a more recent string of break-ins in Riverwood.
On Oct. 3, Riverwood residents called police to report missing items from about 12 cars. Later that night, the Raleigh Police Department’s Fugitive Task Force arrested Joshua David Turner, 27, of 79 Nicolas Court, Angier, at the Cracker Barrel near the Interstate 40-N.C. 42 interchange. Turner had an outstanding warrant in Wake County for financial card theft.
While arresting Turner at the Cracker Barrel, officers found items taken in the Riverwood thefts.
Clayton police charged Turner with four counts of financial card theft, one count of financial card fraud, one count of obtaining property by false pretense, five counts of misdemeanor larceny and 11 counts of felonious breaking and entering a motor vehicle.
In both strings of thefts, the thieves targeted only unlocked cars, Bridges said.
“In a perfect world, you should be able to leave your car unlocked, and people shouldn’t take your things,” Bridges said. “But that’s not the case.”
Bridges said residents should lock their doors and also remove valuables from their vehicles at night. If anyone sees anything suspicious, call the police, he said.
“When we were taking some reports, people said, ‘I looked out and saw my dome light on but didn’t think anything of it,’ ” Bridges said. “If they would have called us, we may have been able to catch these people sooner.”