The Transylvania Times -

By Jeremiah Reed
Staff Writer 

Police: Several Businesses, School Broken Into - Brevard NC


Local law enforcement are investigating two separate series of break-ins where one or more alleged thieves broke into several businesses in the Pisgah Forest area and took electronic equipment from Brevard Academy.

Lt. Steve Woodson, with the Brevard Police Department, said the incidents in the Pisgah Forest area took place early Monday morning.

The alleged thieves struck Dolly’s Dairy Bar, Davidson River Outfitters, Royal Water Works Inc., Cason’s Builder’s Supply and Oskar Blues Brewery. A small fruit stand in the parking lot across from Dolly’s was also targeted. In most instances, the alleged thieves gained access to the businesses through windows.

Kevin Howell, with Davidson River Outfitters, said one of his guides arrived at work about 7:30 a.m. Monday and noticed an office window had been opened, the screen popped out and the interior lights were on.

The offices were ransacked, and Howell’s office remained in disarray Tuesday with papers and files strewn about the room.

“They went through every drawer, dragged stuff out everywhere, took what cash they could find and took off,” Howell said.

Woodson believes more than one suspect was involved in the break-ins.

Howell said $780 was taken that was ready to be deposited. Other than that, there was no merchandise or other property taken. Howell said it seemed odd that no Fishing equipment, which could easily have been worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, was taken.

Targeting cash was a common thread in all the break-ins, as other business owners noted that the suspects seemed to rummage quickly through offices and left after not finding any money.

Wesley Royal, owner of Royal Water Works Inc., said the alleged thieves got into his office through a small side window that was roughly 2 feet by 3 feet.

“I got here about 10 or so and I noticed my door was wide open,” Royal said. “They didn’t take anything, which surprised the heck out of me.”

Royal said he walked around to the building’s rear and saw that Dolly’s had also been broken into. He said he doesn’t typically keep any cash in the office, but some electronic equipment was left untouched.

Neil Price, of Oskar Blues, said some of his employees showed up at the facility around 5:40 a.m. and noticed some windows on the building’s side that led into offices had been opened. Unlike other businesses, the alleged thieves did not make physical entry into the brewery.

“Two of the screens were removed from the windows and two of the windows had been pushed up, but there were no signs of any entry,” Price said. “I was honestly shocked it happened, but our alarm was set and our gate was locked, so we did everything right from a security standpoint.”

Price thought the suspects might have realized they would trigger the security system if they entered the building and left before they set it off. None of the other businesses had security systems in place.

“There are no burglar alarms here (Davidson River Outfitters) but there will be very soon,” Howell said.

No businesses reported any missing property and electronic equipment, including items such as laptops, was passed over.

Woodson said the investigation into the break-ins is ongoing. Woodson believes the crimes were linked.

Woodson said there had also been a rash of break-ins at Brevard Academy over the past two weekends, where a number of Apple iPads and computers were stolen.

Tony Helton, Brevard Academy school director, said there were six mini-iPads, one standard iPad and two laptops stolen from the school. Helton said the mini-iPads were taken from two second-grade classrooms and the other equipment was taken from various buildings on campus.

As with the Pisgah Forest break-ins, Helton said the alleged thief/thieves made entry into the rooms by prying open windows.

Helton said there was also an unfortunate incident where a student brought their personal iPod to school last Friday by mistake, as students are not permitted to have iPods without administrative permission.

After finding it in his backpack, Helton said the student informed his teacher he inadvertently brought the device to school.

The teacher took the device and put it in her desk, with the agreement to return it at the end of the day. However, both the student and the teacher forgot about the iPod and it was stolen over the weekend.

“He was doing the right thing,” Helton said. “We’re proud of him because he could have just not said anything and kept it in his book bag and nothing would have happened, but he did the right thing and it ended up getting stolen.”

Helton said the school planned to replace the student’s iPod. He also said it was the first time there had been any break-ins or thefts during his three years as school director.

Woodson doesn’t believe the break-ins at Brevard Academy and the Pisgah Forest area were related.

Anyone with any information about either case should call CrimeStoppers at 862-7463 or the Brevard Police Department at 883-2212.


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