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Rains hamper investigation into string of Vale break-ins

JENNA-LEY HARRISON
Staff Writer

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate a string of outbuilding break-ins that they said materialized on Mother’s Day at three Vale residences.
Deputies said culprits targeted two storage units sometime after 3 a.m. Sunday at neighboring homes on N.C. 274 and one on Ed Willis Road.
Thieves cut the lock off an outbuilding at a home on the 300 block of N.C. 274, taking a weed eater, leaf blower and chain saw, the Sheriff’s Office said. In addition, a generator and air tools were taken from an empty property located on the roadway’s 400 block.
One resident told deputies that she got out of bed and looked around for suspicious activity after she heard area dogs barking loudly around 3 a.m., but she didn’t see anyone.
A trimmer-edger was stolen from a storage building on Ed Willis Road, deputies said. A resident of the home also reported hearing dogs barking but didn’t call 911.
Deputies said some of the stolen property was recovered around 10 a.m. in the driveway of a home located on the 900 block of David’s Chapel Church Road. A resident of the home found the items.

Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Johnson, head of Criminal Investigations, told the Times-News it’s unclear whether the break-ins are related to a string of similar incidents that occurred on the county’s western end earlier this spring.
While detectives are currently processing the found property, recent downpours in the area have produced minor setbacks in the investigation. Johnson said it’s difficult to recover fingerprints from wet items.
The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to work each theft case.

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