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Harnett County Continues To Be Victimized By Crime Spree

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LILLINGTON, N.C. — Residents of Harnett County are dealing with a series of break-ins lately, and many of the crimes may be linked.

Fuzzy Arnold is one of those who's been victimized by thieves in the past month. In addition to stealing his television and Christmas gifts right out from under his tree, thieves stole seven guns from Arnold that he called collector's items.

"Something had happened that had never happened to me before," Arnold said Thursday. "My house has never been broken into before."

Arnold is well-known in Harnett County. He's been selling cars for 54 years, and he's been married for 48 years.

Now he's known as one of the county's many crime-spree victims.

The local paper has reported dozens of break-ins in the past month, 14 just last weekend.

The items stolen include DVD players and DVDs, game consoles and games, TVs, two-way radios, camcorders, jewelry, clothes, cash, Christmas presents, even a stocking full of gifts.

Sheriff's deputies have received remarkably similar reports from the houses that have been hit. In case after case, thieves targeted electronic equipment.

In some cases, the thieves cut power to the homes first, then went in and ransacked the house while the homeowners were away.

Many of the robberies have occurred in the western part of the county, and deputies suspect a connection.

"They just said they had others going on at the same time," Arnold said. "In fact, the deputy that came to my house said he had just left a house that was broken into."

Officers made an arrest last week in connection with one of the robberies. They charged a 20-year-old man with felony breaking and entering and misdemeanor possession of stolen goods.

That suspect, Darius Lamar Talley, has been confined in the Harnett County Jail under a $30,500 bond. But deputies are dealing with more than two dozen robberies, and the crime spree has shown no sign of abating.

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