Local News

Wayne deputies link dead man to unsolved break-ins

Posted November 17, 2010 12:23 p.m. EST

— Wayne County authorities said Wednesday that they have tied a string of unsolved break-ins to a man who was killed two weeks ago while fleeing a state trooper.

Dustin Ray Mitchell died on Nov. 3 when he lost control of his vehicle on Rosewood Road and crashed, authorities said. A North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper had stopped at a Rosewood Road residence to check on a suspicious vehicle, and as he approached the vehicle, Mitchell sped off through the yard.

After Mitchell's death, his family approached Wayne County Sheriff's Office investigators and provided information tying him to several unsolved burglaries, authorities said.

Detectives cleared eight residential and business break-ins, nine motor vehicle break-ins, 20 larcenies and one case of injury to personal property in the areas near Rosewood Road, Luby Smith Road, U.S. Highway 70 West, Pikeville-Princeton Road and the Edgebrook subdivision. Some of the property stolen in the incidents has been returned to the owners, authorities said.

"I can certainly sympathize with any family that loses a family member in such a tragic accident. It shows the great character of the family members that, even with their loss, they did the right thing and came forward with the information that they had,” Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders said in a statement.