Southwest Wake News

November 4, 2013

Man, woman arrested in Raleigh burglary after Cary detective trails car to crime scene

A man and woman were arrested in Raleigh early Monday after a Cary police detective investigating a string of pizza-shop break-ins had followed them to a pizza restaurant on Western Boulevard.

Police arrested two people, including a woman who said she is the co-owner of a Cary pizza restaurant, for breaking into a Raleigh pizza shop on Monday. The pair is also suspected in a string of pizza-shop burglaries in Cary that began Oct. 20.

Raleigh police stopped the car carrying Rachael Megan LaRocca and Michael John Spero at Western Boulevard and Blue Ridge Road when dispatchers reported a burglary alarm signal from Teddy’s New Yorker restaurant at 5563 Western Blvd., Senior Officer A.D. Johnson said in applying for a warrant to search the car.

When she was booked at the Wake County Detention Center on a felony larceny charge, LaRocca, 28, told officers she was a co-owner of Brooklyn Boy’s Pizza in Cary.

Raleigh police had stopped the white, 2004 Honda Civic because Cary Detective Mark Van Houten had been following it as part of an investigation into five recent pizza-shop burglaries.

When the search warrant was returned to the Wake County Court Clerk’s office, police said they had found a crowbar, hammer, rubber mallet, flashlight, gloves and a black bandana and black knit hat.

Raleigh police charged Spero, 28, with two counts of felony breaking and entering, a count of attempted breaking and entering, felony larceny and possession of burglary tools.

Johnson told a magistrate in his application that Van Houten had trailed the Honda to Teddy’s, then parked out of sight.

“Detective Van Houten then heard sounds consistent with the forced entry of the back door,” according to the warrant.

Then, Johnson said, Van Houten told the Raleigh officers he “observed the male suspect (Michael Spero) exiting the back door of the location and enter into the listed vehicle, where the female suspect (Rachael LaRocca) was waiting.”

Cary police last week asked the public’s help in getting information about the burglaries there.

In each case, they said, someone went into the restaurant by the back door and stole cash.

A white car appeared to be waiting for the suspect each time, police said.

Capt. Don Hamilton, head of Cary’s investigation division, said his officers were planning to talk to LaRocca and Spero, but had not filed any charges Monday.

LaRocca, of 4024 Fern Meadow Drive in Cary, was being held Monday in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Spero, of 1300 Maroubra Loop in Cary was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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