GREENVILLE - 28-year-old Michael Wayne Rouse Jr., of Greenville, was arrested and charged with breaking into two Pitt County homes.
Rouse has been in and out of the court system since 2001, when he was just 16-years-old. In the last 12 years, Rouse has been to prison 8 times.
"We've had a lot of dealings with him the past 10 years. He just been recently released from the department of corrections in September 2012 and we've already encountered him again last week like I said he was breaking into houses," Sheriff Neil Elks said.
First, deputies said he broke into a home on Highway 43 on Thursday and stole an iPad among other things. Then, they said he broke into Sandra Hulon's home through the back door and stole her safe. Authorities were able to track down the stolen items through a GPS locator on one of the electronic devices.
"They burned the contents of it and tried to sell it. Tried to sell the safe," Hulon said.
Hulon says she eventually got it back. However, some of the things inside it were irreplaceable.
"It had some of my husband's items," she said.
Hulon lost her husband 12 years ago. She said the only cassette tape she had from her husband's funeral is now gone.
"It's like it didn't mean a hillabeast to him but it meant something to me and my family," she said.
Since 2001, Ruse has been convicted for trespassing, writing a worthless check, obstruction of justice, taking indecent liberties with a child, failing to register as a sex offender, breaking and entering, larceny and possession of a firearm by a felon.
"For law enforcement officers it's quite frustrating. These are people who aren't going to learn. They are going to keep offending over and over and over again. And the question is how many times are they allowed to continue this kind of behavior before they are sent off for a long period of time," Sheriff Elks said.
Due to the fact that Rouse has been convicted of more than three felonies, he qualifies to be a habitual felon. If convicted of these latest crimes, he could face 10 years in prison.