OXFORD, N.C. — Police have charged a Granville County man with at least 22 break-ins of homes, vehicles, businesses and churches in Oxford since March.
Antonio Hatcher, 22, of Lewis Road in Oxford, was arrested Thursday and charged him with 22 counts of felony breaking and entering, 16 counts of felony larceny, two counts of felony breaking and entering in a place of worship and one count of attempted first-degree burglary and 17 counts of misdemeanor damage to property.
He was in the Granville County jail Friday evening under a $500,000 bond.
An arrest warrant on similar charges is also out on a second suspect, Andrew "Babe" Thorpe, 22, of Oxford.
Authorities said the investigation is ongoing and that more arrests are pending.
Since March, police have investigated more than 60 break-ins in Oxford in which the thief or thieves typically ransacked their targets.
"It's not unusually for us to have burglaries but in the numbers we've been dealing with since March, that was highly unusual," Oxford police Chief John Wolford said.
Lynn Cox said her father's business, Eakes Funeral Home, a fixture in Oxford for more than 50 years, was a target last month. She said thieves used a screwdriver to pry open the side door and tore up the office.
"You would think that a funeral home is the last place anyone would want to break into," she said.
Since then, her family has spent thousands of dollars on new locks and a security system.
"It just tells you that things are getting bad," Cox said. "Things are not what they used to be."
Oxford residents with any information relevant to the cases are asked to contact the Oxford Police Department at 919-693-3161 or Crime Stoppers at 919-693-3100.