NEW BERN - Local law enforcement agencies announced charges against nine people, allegedly responsible for 16 break-ins and two armed robberies across North Carolina.
A media conference was held at the New Bern Police Department to explain the connections that were found between the crimes.
The crime spree allegedly began in New Bern in October. Over the next two months, officials in Craven County, Trent Woods, River bend and Pamlico County said they saw saw similar crimes.
When Raleigh Police got involved in late December, they said they realized they were all dealing with the same group of crooks.
"Based on our investigations, which include interviews and physical evidence that we will able to obtain at the scene of the crime all piece together," said New Bern Police Chief Toussaint Summers.
Craven County District Attorney Scott Thomas said the nine suspects worked as an informal group. They teamed up in groups of two or three at a time to commit these crimes, Thomas said.
Best Western General Manager Celestial Soden said it was a huge relief to know the bad guys were caught.
"It's just really scary and all the things that have been happening around, it's a relief to know it was pretty much a big group of people and not just an outbreak of crime in this area," Soden said.
Police said most of the suspects went to school in Pamlico County together. So far, nine of the suspects were in custody.
Two more suspects, Marvin Nicholas and Demarcus Woods, were still on the run, police said. The investigation was ongoing and officials were working with federal law enforcement to make the remaining arrests.