Thanks to a combined effort from criminal investigators with the Clinton Police Department, the NIT (Neighborhood Improvement Team) and uniformed officers, Richard Wheeler, Jr., 42, of 211 Nolly St., Clinton, was charged with three counts of felony larceny; four counts of damage to property; and one count of felony attempted larceny after being linked with three break-ins throughout Clinton.
According to Det. Donald Edwards, an early morning call Tuesday from Clinton Realty Company owner Marshall Thornton reporting a breaking and entering in progress.
When police arrived on scene, Thornton was able to give a detailed description of the suspect and the vehicle he was riding in.
Just the day before, Thornton reported a larceny and damage to property after he discovered that a $2,000 heat pump was taken and $2,000 in building materials were destroyed.
Officers tracked the vehicle down at a Nolly Street address and Wheeler was taken into custody. Additional investigation revealed that Wheeler was attempting to take parts of the air conditioning units at Clinton Reality Company and then take them to salvage yards to sell by the piece.
“He was breaking them down and selling the parts,” said Edwards. “The day before, he took a heating unit and an air unit at the same place. Mr. Thornton’s information really helped in this investigation.”
Edwards said that Wheeler was linked to two similar robberies — one on Dec. 12 at a McKoy Street church; and on Dec. 11 at a Clinton residence that was in the process of being remodeled.
“We are still working on this case,” said Edwards. “There was at least one other person with him, so it is still an open investigation. We had good response from everyone involved and it made for a good, quick arrest.”
Wheeler was placed under at $40,000 secured bond and will have a trial date of Jan. 8.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or send e-mail to email@example.com.