CCSO investigating string of break-ins at Hampton businesses

Published 8:05 pm Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Deputies with the Carter County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a string of break-ins reported Tuesday morning in Hampton.

Two garages and Brown’s Hardware & Grocery, all three located on Highway 321 near each other, all reported incidents to deputies on Tuesday.

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Michael Harrald, who owns Mikes Garage at 753 Highway 321, and Gary Shingleton, who owns a garage at 816 Highway 321, told officers a male subject had broken into their businesses. According to police reports, employees at Brown’s Hardware & Grocery, located at 613 Highway 321, reported an attempted break-in at the store.

Both Harrald and Shingleton told officers video surveillance equipment at their garages had captured images of the individual.

According to police reports, the video surveillance from Mike’s Garage showed a male subject wearing a long sleeve button up shirt, blue jeans, and a large round hat first enter the garage’s office at 6 p.m. The video shows the suspect going through desk drawers, attempting to gain entry to the safe,  breaking a drop box off the wall using a large pry bar and using a computer in the office among other activities.

“The male subject is seen on video inside the office for approximately one hour before apparently cutting the security cameras off by flipping the breaker powering the cameras,” CCSO Deputy Christopher Peek said. “Mr. Harrald stated that the male subject did look familiar and that he believed he had seen the subject at Brown’s Hardware multiple times on different dates — which also had an attempted break-in on the reported date in the same time period — as well as walking through the community.”

Peek said he spoke with other witnesses in the area, including at other businesses, and who were able to identify the male subject seen in the video footage.

Peek also responded to the reported break-in at the garage owned by Shingleton.

According to police reports, Shingleton told the deputy he had heard about the incidents at Brown’s Hardware and Mike’s Garage, and when he went to check his business he found a window had been broken out.

“Mr. Shingleton was then able to provide security footage from the building showing an individual matching the male subject observed on security footage from Mike’s Garage,” Peek said.

According to Peek, the video from Shingleton’s garage shows the suspect break the window around 8:05 p.m. and is seen walking through the building looking through shelves and attempting to start a Go Kart.

The investigation into the incidents by the Carter County Sheriff’s Office is ongoing at this time.