Burglaries on the rise in 2007

By Lindsay Ash
Carrboro Commons Writer

The walls of one robber’s new jail cell will not be smashed through as easily as the walls of the Willow Creek Shopping Center.

A burglar ravaged the Willow Creek Shopping Center robbing several stores over a period of three nights beginning on Christmas Eve, entering through a vacant store and then burrowing through its walls to get into surrounding stores.

ash_crimebest.jpg Theo Cokkinos, employee, stands next the last mark left by a burglar in Carolina Cleaners. The wall has been patched but is waiting for the final coat of paint. The robber crashed through two walls of Carolina Cleaners to pass through to the neighboring stores.
Staff photo by Lindsay Ash

During the robberies, the burglar made a mess in several of the stores even making time for a snack, leaving a Little Debbie wrapper and juice bottle behind.

“He was a very gutsy man,” said Robbie Miller, owner of Daytona Rays. “He seemed to show no fear coming back to our stores three times.”
Carrboro Police Department arrested and charged Fernice Anderson Lowry with breaking and entering. Lowry was tried and found guilty of the charges in Orange County Superior Court on Feb. 4. and sentenced to 9-11 months active time.

According to the Carrboro Police Department’s Web site, 61 more burglaries were reported in 2007 than in 2006. Not all were as dramatic at the Lowry robberies, but the increased number of burglaries is something to take into account.

There are many elements and degrees to burglaries that the police evaluate. “The first thing we want to do is protect citizens, and the second thing we want to do is catch bad people,” said Captain J.G. Booker of the Carrboro Police Department.

Crime is not an easy thing to measure. Its many elements and situational circumstances make generalizations too broad to capture in one measurement. Booker emphasized that the Carrboro Police Department continually focused on crimes of opportunity.

“I can’t say that the police department is the only factor that affects the level of crime that occurs each year,” said Booker. “Certainly the police department is a factor, but the overall crime levels in Carrboro depend on many outside elements.”

Miller believes the Carrboro Police Department did all they could to protect her store and the Willow Creek Shopping Center in general.

“I give the police so much credit,” said Miller. “They did everything they could to capture him quickly so I could have back my peace of mind.”

Miller said, “When the finally got (him) I felt relieved. But I think overall I can speak for most of Carrboro when I say that people feel safe here.”

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