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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington has seen a large increase in automobile break-ins, according to police.

They say places like Empie park and Greenfield lake have been heavily targeted

They say perpetrators are taking advantage of the distraction parks offer.

Stealing items out of unlocked cars and breaking windows to do the same out of others.

This past weekend police were able to catch one man in the act on the 500 block of N. 3rd street.

Downtown officers watched as 56 year-old Leon Lee approached one car and took the purse inside.

Police say the victim was parked for about ten minutes, around 4:30 p.m., outside of the convenience store when Lee stole the purse.

After watching surveillance footage, officers were able to get the tags for the red truck with a freezer Lee drove off in and tracked it back to a Southport meat company in New Hanover County.

A spokeswoman for Wilmington Police did not have the name of the meat company, but said that is where Lee was arrested.

Lee is in jail under $10,000 bond and charged with breaking or entering a motor vehicle and larceny.

Police are looking to see if Lee is related to the other break-ins in the area.
The case is still under investigation.

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