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Chapel Hill Bandits Take Off with Frozen Meat

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CHAPEL HILL — Chapel Hill police are looking for suspects in a series of freezer break-ins. The bandits are breaking into restaurant freezers and stealing pounds and pounds of meat.

"With a crow bar, they pried the whole mechanism off the walk-in," said one victim.

They found what they were looking for. In the past three weeks, thousands of dollars of meat and produce have been stolen from the freezer at La Residence, despite new locks and a new fence.

"After a while, you begin to accept the fact that you haven't seen it all, and you probably never will," said Maj. Gregg Jarvies of the Chapel Hill Police Department.

Police say they are not surprised by the thefts. They say there is a market for meat.

"You can trade anything for drugs whether it's meat, food products, stereo equipment. Whatever has a got a price on the market can be traded for drugs," explained Jarvies.

Anthony Campbell, 36, and Albert Burnette, 32, have been arrested and charged in similar larcenies at Linda's Bar & Grill.

Owner Larry Eldridge is aggravated. His restaurant has been hit three times in the past two weeks.

"The only thing you are really protecting yourself against is petty thieves. If it's a real thief, forget it. Your stuff is gone," said Eldridge.

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Amanda Lamb, Reporter
Jim Young, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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