Local News

Wake County Deputies Arrest Smash And Grab Suspect

Posted June 17, 2002

— Wake County investigators said they have closed more than 100 cases with just one arrest.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office and the Raleigh Police Department said in the last six months, small businesses were Larry Turnage's target.

Investigators said the break-ins were quick, and that Turnage rarely took more than a minute to get what he was after.

"Most of the businesses had alarms, they were activated and he was in and out," said Maj. Ralph Stephenson of the Wake County Sheriff's Office. "We refer to these as smash and grabs."

Investigators believe Turnage hit close to 100 convenience stores, churches and businesses in Raleigh, Zebulon, Garner, Wendell and other parts of Wake County.

Raleigh police said they expect to clear about 70 break-in cases with Turnage's arrest.

Investigators said Turnage took little more than money and small items. They believe he was committing the smash and grabs to get money for drugs.

Wesley Adams' convenience store has alarms, cameras and motion detectors. He has owned the store for 15 years and said he never had a break-in until Turnage came along.

"He was here for just a minute and a half, then he was on to the next stop, I heard," Adams said.

Knightdale police got the ball rolling on the case when they got Turnage's license plate number.

Turnage is being held in the Wake County jail.

He also faces charges in Knightdale, Garner and possibly in Johnston County.


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