Nicholas James Stanbro, 19, of Garner, and Thomas Scott Hicks, 19, of Clayton, were charged with two counts each of felony breaking and entering of a motor vehicle, felony larceny of a firearm and misdemeanor larceny. Christina Willsey, 18, of Garner, was charged with one count of each offense.
Two patrol cars parked outside businesses on Raynor Road as part of a program to deter crime were broken into early Friday. Two Mossberg shotguns were stolen from the vehicles, police said.
The Raleigh Police Department received an anonymous tip about the incident, which led investigators to Hicks and Willsey. Police said they recovered one of the shotguns from a vehicle and found the second shotgun under a house in Nash County.
"The Raleigh police investigators received the tip while working on a separate case that involved our suspects," said Grant Davis, an investigator with the Garner Police Department.
Police initially believed one of the shotguns was stolen from a secure gun rack inside one of the patrol cars, but Davis said interviews with suspects led police to to the conclusion that both weapons were locked in the trunks of the police cars.
After the incident, the Garner Police Department changed its policy to require all firearms be secured at officers' homes.
Hicks and Stanbro are being held in the Wake County Jail on $50,000 secured bonds, while Willsey is being held on a $30,000 bond.