Local News

Smash-and-grab suspect named in 31 crimes

Posted June 27, 2008 6:08 a.m. EDT
Updated June 27, 2008 1:53 p.m. EDT

— Police nabbed a man in four overnight burglaries who they believe might be involved in more than 30 other crimes in the town.

Officers responding to break-ins around Crossroads Plaza and the Shoppes of Kildaire early Friday arrested Cleveland Fernando Birdsong, 42, of 108 Lasky Court, Apartment A1.

Birdsong led police on a short pursuit, first on a motorized scooter and then on foot, before they apprehended him.

Investigators said Birdsong committed burglaries at Sheer Elegance Hair Salon and a Verizon store in the Shoppes of Kildaire and Marble Slab Creamery and Great Clips Hair Salon in Crossroads between Thursday night and Monday morning.

Birdsong has also been named a suspect in a break-in at Hot Point Deli, 1284 Buck Jones Road, on Saturday, June 21. Surveillance video shows a man throwing a rock through the glass front door, then forcing open the cash register, taking money and fleeing.

Police also consider Birdsong a suspect in 31 crimes going back to November 2007.

Birdsong faces five counts of felony breaking-and-entering, one count of felony larceny and one count each of felony speeding to elude; resisting, obstructing and delaying a police officer; hit-and-run; careless and reckless driving; and driving with a revoked license.

He could get up to 12 1/2 years in prison if convicted on all those charges.

At his first court appearance Friday morning, Birdsong was given a $101,000 bond. He was being held at the Wake County Public Safety Center in the afternoon.

Birdsong, whose criminal record begins in 1982, was released from prison in October 2007. According to state Department of Correction records, he had served 2 years and 5 months for a conviction for felony breaking-and-entering and possession of stolen goods.

He has been convicted of felony breaking-and-entering eight other times, along with larceny, obtaining property by false pretenses and driving while impaired.

In the past 10 years, Birdsong has spent 7 years and 3 month in prison.

Anyone with information about the break-ins should call Crime Stoppers at 919-226-CRIME or police Capt. Mike Williams at 919-469-4017. Crime Stoppers offers rewards of up to $2,500 for information leading to arrests and indictments.