Local News

Police Seek Pair Who Delivered Crime Along With Morning Paper

Posted January 30, 2007 10:52 p.m. EST
Updated January 30, 2007 11:06 p.m. EST

— A former newspaper carrier and a male companion are wanted on charges they stole from her customers while the pair drove around her newspaper route in the early morning darkness.

Police say the woman and her boyfriend filched items from into cars and mailboxes in Apex, Cary and Holly Springs.

Michele Maizda and Corey Brown would open mailboxes while she was working as a contractor delivering The News & Observer in an Apex neighborhood, looking for credit card numbers in mail, police said. They would also open unlocked cars and steal whatever they could get their hands on, according to detectives.

“They had the newspaper, they had the bags to put the newspapers in, and then they would drive around the neighborhoods and steal from cars and steal mail out of mailboxes while they were delivering the newspapers,” said Detective Ben Byrne with the Apex Police Department.

An open garage, an unlocked Lexus and a purse left in the front seat were an open invitation for the suspects to prey on Tracy Santrock.

"I was very afraid,” Santrock said. “I was very scared. I just couldn't believe it. I had never had anything like that happen to me in my entire life."

Santrock said the thieves hit in the middle of the night. By 8 a.m., they had had been on a shopping spree while spending thousands of dollars on her credit card.

“They started off at Cary at the Wal-Mart Supercenter,” Santrock said. “They also stopped at McDonalds and had breakfast.”

Apex police said a surveillance camera caught the two suspects using another victim's credit card on a $200 purchase. On the tape, Maizda is seen shuffling through a handful of credit cards before finding one that would work.

Detectives are searching for Maizda and Brown. Santrock said she hoped the pair is caught soon, but she can't help but have one regret.

"I really wish I would have closed the garage door,” Santrock said.

Anyone who has any information on Maizda or Brown’s whereabouts is asked to call the Apex Police Department at 919-362-8661.