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Detectives with the Union County Sheriff's Office have arrested six men they say were involved in a burglary theft ring in Union and Anson Counties.
The New Salem and northeastern areas of Union County saw a spike in the number of residential break-ins from April through August. Detectives soon began to notice similarities in the crimes, and began to use a number of methods to get the word out for citizens to be watchful, deputies say.
After fliers were handed out and local churches began to put the information in mailing lists and social media sites, tips began to come in, the release states.
At the same time, detectives from Anson County were investigating similar crimes in the towns of Peachland and Polkton, and soon it became obvious to them that these crimes were all linked, deputies said.
Soon, firearms and other stolen property were recovered, and detectives began interviewing potential suspects.
Lamont Devon Burns, of Shady Lane, in Marshville, was allegedly the leader of the theft ring. He was arrested and charged with Continuing Criminal Enterprise, six counts of felony breaking and entering, six counts of felony larceny, five counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, and felony possession of stolen goods/property.
In addition to Burns, five other men were arrested for their alleged involvement in the theft ring:
Antonio Devon Thomas – Charged with six counts of felony breaking and entering and felony larceny, five counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, and felony possession of stolen goods/property.
Roderick Edward Ponds – Charged with five counts of felony breaking and entering and felony larceny.
Tony Anthony Lee Hammond – Charged with three counts of felony breaking and entering and felony larceny.
Zachary Coleman Runnels – Charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, and possession of a stolen firearm.
William James Rushing – Charged with possession of stolen goods/property.
All those arrested have a first court appearance on November 5.
Detectives say the investigation remains open, and more charges in both Anson and Union Counties are expected.
Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call the Union County Sheriff's Office at (704)283-3722, or Crimestoppers at (704)283-5600.