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SUNSET BEACH—Police have arrested two teenagers and recovered numerous items in connection with a rash of recent car break-ins, most of them on the Sunset Beach island.
Justin Darriel Carver, 17, of 1105 North Shore Drive W., Sunset Beach, and Dakota Alexis Reyna, 18, of 98 Field Planters Circle, Calabash, were each charged July 29 with seven counts of breaking and entering to a motor vehicle, seven counts of larceny from a motor vehicle, and one charge of larceny of a firearm.
Each is on a $73,000 bond at Brunswick County Detention Center.
Sunset Beach Deputy Chief Steve Smith said more charges are pending.
About 90 percent of the items reported stolen have been recovered in connection with eight separate car break-ins reported July 29 at different addresses, Smith said. The items were recovered from one of the suspect’s cars on 38th Street and a house on Shoreline Drive West, according to Smith.
He said the break-ins occurred between 2-4 a.m. and involved vehicles that had been left unlocked.
“All [incidents] are the same,” Smith said. “All occurred at night, with no forceable entry.”
He said police had been on the lookout for suspicious persons “hanging around” since recent rashes of break-ins have been reported. He said it is hoped the arrests will aid police investigating similar incidents in Ocean Isle Beach and Shallotte.
Vehicular break-ins were reported on Canal Street and 28th, 29th, 32nd, 33rd streets on the island and on Shoreline Drive East on the mainland.
Recovered items include an IBM computer notebook and air card, several global positioning systems, a digital camera, a Springfield .40-caliber pistol in a nylon holster, an iPod charger, a telephone charger, a set of ear buds, two DVD players, two portable DVD screens, a Fuji camera and a full set of golf clubs.
Smith said not all items reported stolen have been recovered, including other GPS devices and two more DVD players, 20 recordings, a Game Boy and two iPods. He said some items were given away or sold to pawn shops.
Smith said one of the suspects said they went into as many as 50 cars, all of which had been left unlocked.
He said residents and visitors need to keep their car and house doors locked.
“When you’re on vacation, you don’t know who’s staying beside you,” Smith said.
Victims of theft have told police they’ve been coming to Sunset Beach for 20 years and never thought about locking up.
But the beach community is not the same as it was back then, Smith said.
“We’ve got people making their livings this way,” he said.
A thief can make a round in a day around the area, just looking for things to steal, he said.
He cautioned people not to leave anything of value in their cars that’s visible and that someone might want to take. He advised against leaving money, wallets and purses in plain view inside houses or vehicles
“A GPS is the easiest to steal,” Smith said of car break-ins. “It’s either on the dash or windshield.”
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or at email@example.com.