Local News

Theater-shooting suspect was under suspicion for burglaries

Posted October 29, 2008 3:43 p.m. EDT
Updated October 30, 2008 9:16 a.m. EDT

— A Wake Forest man charged in the shooting death of a theater manager might have also been involved in a series of home burglaries in Wake and Franklin counties, according to a search warrant released Wednesday.

The warrant, dated Sunday, Oct. 26, is for a storage unit on Capital Boulevard in Wake Forest, where investigators said they believed Anthony Joseph Bimbo might have kept stolen property. Investigators did not seize anything, however.

Bimbo, 40, of 5405 Orchard Oriole Trail, was arrested in New Jersey Monday in connection with the Oct. 24 shooting of Mark Douglas Buhaug, a manager at the Marquee Cinema in the Wakefield Commons shopping center off Capital Boulevard.

Police say a masked gunman shot Buhaug, 48, during a robbery attempt at the theater and fled the scene.

The warrant indicated Wake Forest investigators began looking at Bimbo after his name appeared on pawn shop transactions involving items that matched property taken from a Wake Forest home on East Wait Avenue on March 28.

On that same day, the warrant said, Bimbo had been at that address for his job as a delivery driver for McCracken Propane in Rolesville. He lost that job in July, and managers there will not say why they terminated him.

Upon further investigation, authorities found that Franklin County detectives were also looking at Bimbo in connection with a Youngsville burglary in September.

Bimbo was also arrested last month on charges relating to the August burglary of a Wake Forest home on Chimney Swift Drive, when he allegedly stole $23,000 in property. He is due in court next month on chose charges.

Wake Forest police also say he is a suspect in a burglary hours after Buhaug's fatal shooting. In that case, investigators say, he allegedly used a handgun to force his way into a residence on Poteat Drive – about 1.3 miles from his home – and stole a woman's minivan.

He was arrested lat Monday when New Jersey state troopers recognized a stolen minivan. Troopers recovered a .38-caliber revolver from the driver's side door of the minivan, which had stolen Missouri license plates on it, authorities said.

Authorities have not said whether the weapon was used in Buhaug's death.

Two other men, Ryan Becker, 19, and Jason Zilinski, 18, are also charged with murder in Buhaug's death. They are being held in the Wake County jail without bond.

Theater employees said Zilinski worked at the theater and lived with Bimbo, whom neighbors said was his stepfather.

According to court records, Bimbo married Zilinski's mother in 2003, and they separated last January. A court order told Bimbo to leave their house by Nov. 1.

Bimbo worked for Northwest Airlines until 2006, Raleigh-Durham International Airport officials said. They could not say why he left that job.

He was still in New Jersey Wednesday afternoon. It was not immediately known when he would return to North Carolina to face charges in Buhaug's death.