Local police believe the person who recently broke into a pair of Zebulon eateries may be the same suspect wanted in three burglaries that took place in Wendell in late January.
Zebulon police Det. Sgt. Ashley Dixon said there are similarities between the suspect surveillance cameras showed breaking into the Zebulon Arby’s, one of two locations hit there on Feb. 17, and the Wendell Subway, one of three break-ins there on Jan. 30.
“Just by the photographs alone and the method by which they broke in, we believe they do have a similar MO to (the Wendell burglaries),” Dixon said. “It was pretty much their clothing and the method of which they roam around the stores.”
Police had yet to produce a solid lead in the days following the Zebulon break-ins, and the case remained under investigation by both towns’ police departments at that time.
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Dixon described the suspect as a black male of small build. It appeared the man was wearing either a shower cap or a food hair net in the images from Arby’s, where he was shown moving around behind the sale counter crouched near the ground. Dixon said it is possible the man may have long braids.
Employees at the Arby’s and Pizza Hut in Zebulon’s Triangle East Shopping Center reported break-ins when they arrived to work, at 7:59 and 9:53 a.m.
At Arby’s, the suspect pried out cash drawers, which were already empty, and failed to gain access to a safe, doing $1,100 in damage in the process. At Pizza Hut, the side door facing U.S. 64/264 was broken down, police said, and the suspect took an undisclosed amount of money from the cash drawers and safe there.
In Wendell, police Chief Bill Carter said the consecutive break-ins at Subway, Great Wok Chinese and Dominos on Wendell Boulevard occurred under the cover of darkness, beginning about 5:45 a.m. on Jan. 30.
Incident reports show a window, sign, computer, printer and safe were damaged and $150 cash was stolen from Subway; a window was damaged and $1,522 cash was stolen from Great Wok; and a door was damaged and $56.50 was stolen from Dominos.
“There was forced entry into the front of all three buildings,” Carter said. “The nature of the crime suggested those responsible were in and out of the businesses very quickly.”
Carter said his department will continue to communicate with Zebulon investigators to compare the cases for similarities.
“As always, if anyone saw anything suspicious during the early hours of that day, we would encourage them to contact us,” Carter said.
The Wendell Police Department can be reached at 919-365-4444 and the Zebulon Police Department can be reached at 919-823-1818.
Eastern Wake Crimestoppers (919-366-2746) offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of suspects in crimes.