Deputies: More than $6,000 stolen from Bell Arthur lounge

GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - Investigators said the suspects pried open the back door and stole more than $6,000 from the safe, cash register and ATM machine.

Authorities said this happened after-hours Saturday night or early Sunday morning at George's Lounge, on Bell Arthur Road. This break-in is one of several break-ins the Pitt County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

"Once the subjects went inside they located an ATM machine. They removed the ATM machine to the rear parking lot where they broke open the machine and also found a small safe that had some items in that. They also removed that outside and opened the safe too," Sheriff Neil Elks said.

This comes after last week's break-in at the Belvoir Corner Stop where crooks broke through two concrete walls and stole a safe filled with $40,000.

Sheriff Elks said they don't yet know if the cases are connected; however, there appears to be a spike in rural crime.

"Someone targeted that store, and knew the location they needed to go into to gain entry to that building. And [they] brought the tools they needed to get in with," Elks said.

Sheena Barrett works at the convenience store across the street and said she hopes her business isn't next.

"I mean of course we are nervous for anything that goes on but we just try to be as safe as we can and watch the people that come in," Barrett said.

"We are continuing to investigate and we have very good leads on both break-ins. We're actually following those leads now and feel very promising that we should be able to bring some closure to those cases," Elks said.

Authorities said they are also looking into similar break-ins in surrounding counties, including Edgecombe County.

Anyone with information on these crimes is asked to contact Crime Stoppers or the Pitt County Sheriff's Office.

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