COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Five people have been arrested in connection to multiple break-ins in Columbus County. Sheriff deputies say they stole items such as guns, ammo, and hunting gear at several homes during November and December 2017.
On November 24, suspects kicked in the rear entrance of a home located on Hallsboro Road South in Whiteville. Firearms, a gaming console, and some collectible coins were stolen.
On November 27, the rear door of a home on Bill Hooks Road in Whiteville was found to have been pried open. Multiple items were taken. After the break in, the homeowner installed surveillance cameras. A few days later, the suspects returned to the house. This time, the suspects entered the enclosed porch and removed property. During the two break-ins, the suspects removed multiple firearms, ammunition, a compound bow, two Yeti coolers, and other assorted hunting gear. The homeowner’s surveillance cameras captured one of the suspects and the vehicle he was traveling in. CCSO released the individual’s photo and vehicle to the media on December 4. Detectives investigated each tip received after the photos were released and were able to identify the person shortly after.
On December 3, the front entry door of a home on Page Road in Clarkton was damaged. Deputies say the door had been forced open. The suspects removed firearms, ammunition, a television, a gaming system, two cell phones, several watches, coin currency, and assorted hunting gear. Detectives were able to use GPS to track one of the stolen items to a home on New Britton Highway East in Whiteville.
On December 5, CCSO Detectives went to the home on New Britton Highway East. Detectives found a white Nissan Murano that matched the vehicle captured by surveillance cameras during the Bill Hooks Road incident. Detectives were given consent to search the property and vehicle and found some property items that were stolen from the above listed incidents. Detectives obtained a search warrant where numerous stolen items were located and seized during the search.
On December 5, the glass on the front door of a home on Red Hill Road in Clarkton was shattered. Deputies say the suspects entered the house and removed a chain saw, two weed eaters, three compound bows, a cellphone, a jar of coin currency, and a pair of hunting boots.
On December 20, the suspects entered a home on Midway Drive in Chadbourn. They took jewelry, a jar of coin currency, a laptop, a television, and a firearm from the house.
During the investigation, CCSO Detectives discovered that additional stolen property was being stored at a home on Waynes Way in Whiteville. On December 21, detectives searched and several stolen items were found inside.
CCSO Detectives were able to locate and recover approximately 50 items during this investigation. Four of the recovered items were pawned by the suspects. Some of the stolen items the detectives recovered had already been sold to people by the suspects.
During the investigation, detectives learned that the five suspects responsible for the break-ins also broke into homes in Bladen County. CCSO Detectives and Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Detectives collaborated during the investigation. Additional charges for the suspects are pending in Bladen County.
On January 5, 2018, detectives arrested Joshua Hulon, Katie E. Sutton, Garrett M. Snodgrass, Nekema Haley, and Joshua Grooms. Deputies say this is an ongoing investigation. Additional charges are possible in the future.
Katie Elizabeth Sutton, of Chadbourn, is charged with one count of felony larceny of a firearm, one count of felony breaking and entering, one count of felony larceny. She was given a $20,000 bond.
Joshua Grooms, of Whiteville, is charged with one count of felony larceny of a firearm, two counts of felony breaking and entering, two counts of felony larceny. He was given a $16,000 bond.
Nekema Haley, of Whiteville, is charged with three counts of felony larceny of a firearm, four counts of felony breaking and entering, four counts of felony larceny. He was given a $57,500 bond.
Joshua Hulon, of Chadbourn, is charged with three counts of felony larceny of a firearm, three counts of felony breaking and entering, three counts of felony larceny. He was given a $60,000 bond.
Garrett Michael Snodgrass, of Chadbourn, is charged with four counts of felony larceny of a firearm, four counts of felony breaking and entering, four counts of felony larceny. He was given a $105,000 bond.