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Police short on leads in downtown break-ins

Blood samples could change case

Staff Writer

More than a week after thieves targeted a number of businesses in downtown Lincolnton, police said they still remain empty-handed as far as case leads.
Detectives said they’re waiting for blood samples to return from the crime lab. Blood was found splattered on portions of the sidewalk along East Main Street the morning of the break-ins on Jan. 31.
Police said it appeared that one of the culprits had cut himself while breaking into Exper-Teez, a locally owned screen-printed T-shirt shop. The front glass door of the business, which has since been repaired, was completely shattered, and ceiling tiles inside the store dismantled as though the culprits had been trying to access Stroup’s Jewelers next door, investigators said. Store owner Chris Tabor, who said he plans to install an alarm system at the shop, also noted blood stains on some of the tiles.
Police said a total of five businesses were targeted late last month, three of which were accessed. All incidents occurred sometime after 1 a.m.
Additional locations besieged included Watson Insurance, where a safe was tampered with, Aerus Electrolux, One Main Financial and Chromcraft Revington, a local furniture store.
According to Det. Sgt. Matt Painter, the blood samples, which were sent to the State Crime Lab in Raleigh, will take six months to a year to be processed.
“They’ll compare it against everyone in the database,” Painter said. “If they’ve been arrested before, they’ll be in the database.”
If the samples don’t match a suspect in the database, detectives said they’ll have to wait until someone is apprehended to compare the DNA.
No items were stolen in any of the incidents nor was any significant property damage reported. An investigation is continuing.

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