Local News

Ex-Duke security expert charged in medical office break-ins

Posted April 8, 2011 11:36 a.m. EDT
Updated April 8, 2011 5:12 p.m. EDT

— A former employee of the Duke University Police Department has been charged in a string of burglaries at medical offices from Durham to Clayton, police said Friday.

Cary police arrested Shawn Michael Flaugher, 36, at his home on Gray Ghost Street in Benson on Thursday and charged him with 29 counts of breaking and entering. He was being held in the Wake County jail under a $600,000 bond.

Duke police charged Flaugher Wednesday in connection with burglaries at three medical facilities connected with the university between August and February. Clayton police on Friday charged him in four break-ins last August.

Between last July and February, 29 medical offices in southeast Cary were broken into, said Lt. Steve Fonke of the Cary Police Department. The burglar grabbed cash and drugs in the overnight break-ins, he said.

The alarm systems and security cameras to some buildings were disabled during the break-ins, and the locks to exterior doors were popped off, Fonke said.

"It was apparent to us that whoever did that had some knowledge of the technology to be able to do that," Fonke said.

Flaugher was the manager of security systems for Duke police. He began working as a civilian employee of the department in February 2003 and left the department last month. It was unclear whether he resigned or was fired.

Before joining Duke police, Flaugher was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg and worked at security companies Pinkerton and Securitas.

"It's one of those shows were the perpetrator is supposed to be protecting us," said Scott Mettler, who manages a building leased by Rex Healthcare where two physician offices and a surgical center were burglarized.

"He dismantled alarm systems. We had a security camera system in the building, and he actually got into that and took apart the components of the camera system while leaving the cameras in place," Mettler said, adding that he was troubled by the way the burglar was able to get around building security.

"Our tenants, we want them to go home at night knowing that things are going to be OK in the morning," he said. "We do what we can to protect our tenants, so it's disturbing to know that somebody had the ability to do that."

Police said drugs, medical supplies and cash were taken in the Duke and Clayton break-ins as well. Investigators said they don't know what happened to the stolen drugs.

Duke police charged him with three counts each of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering and safe-cracking, five counts of injury to real property, one count each of drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia and 15 counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

The sexual exploitation charges were filed after videos and photos depicting children engaged in sex acts were found on a computer, police said.

Clayton police charged him with three counts of breaking and entering and larceny and one count of breaking and entering.