Courts & Crime

One of largest burglary rings in North Carolina history dismantled

Federal law enforcement officials said Monday they have dismantled one of the largest organized home burglary rings in N.C. history.

At least nine defendants were engaged in the ring, which operated for several years in both Carolinas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“Hundreds of home burglaries are attributed to this gang where hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal property was stolen,” the ATF said in a statement.

Among the stolen goods were more than 125 firearms.

The criminal enterprise “consists of mostly multi-convicted felons that targeted homes” in a dozen counties, including Mecklenburg, Union, Cabarrus, Stanly, Anson and Rowan in North Carolina and York and Marlboro in South Carolina, the ATF said.

The members of the crime ring, used sophisticated fixed and mobile surveillance and operated in organized teams with leaders to identify and burglarize targeted homes, the ATF said.

More than 10 law enforcement agencies along with ATF conducted what authorities described as “an unprecedented joint investigation covering a massive geographical area with multiple jurisdictions.”

Federal and local authorities have scheduled a news conference Thursday in Albemarle to identify the defendants and outline the charges. Authorities also will display recovered firearms.

Earl Woodham, a spokesman for the ATF, declined further comment Monday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynne Klauer said it's her understanding that an indictment against nine individuals on file at the federal courthouse in Greensboro is the case that will be discussed at Thursday's news conference.

Read the complete story at charlotteobserver.com

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