SWANSBORO, ONSLOW COUNTY - Police have released dash cam video of a man who they say stole a safe from a pharmacy and dragged it behind his car for a few miles before passing an officer, who soon arrested him.
The Swansboro Police Department said it all began at about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, when 22-year-old Ryan Mullins smashed in a window at the drive-through of Family Care Pharmacy, located at 1106 Main St.
Mullins then entered the building, tied a nylon rope around a 100-pound safe containing prescription drugs, and drove about 2 miles with the safe dragging behind his vehicle, Swansboro Police said.
But at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, a Swansboro police officer pulled out in front of Mullins on Swansboro Loop Road. In his rear view mirror, the officer saw that something was swinging behind Mullins' car, investigators said.
The officer pulled over to let Mullins pass, then saw the safe being dragged behind Mullins' vehicle, police said. A short chase --all caught on dash cam-- ensued before the suspect pulled over and was arrested.
(Click on the video player above to view the dash cam video.)
Witness Carmen Fickling works next door to the pharmacy that was broken into. She said when she came to work at 7:10 a.m. Tuesday, she saw the suspect's parked vehicle and the safe.
"You could just tell he was messing with something and having a struggle," said Fickling. "I came back out and watched him and I also took a picture [of the suspect's vehicle]."
In addition, Fickling took a photo of the drive-through window where police say Mullins entered the pharmacy.
Fickling said when she saw the suspect leaving the parking lot, she got into her vehicle and tried to follow him. But she said she lost him after another vehicle pulled out in front of her.
"A lot of things crossed through my mind as to what could possibly be going on and none of them were good. But I never expected to see him pull a safe with the rope. It was strange," said Fickling.
Employees at Family Care Pharmacy are discussing the possibility of adding more security cameras to the property.