Suspect poses as food delivery driver, breaks into Gastonia home as break-ins increase in 2022
Gastonia Police responded to 129 home break-ins by this time last year. This year, they’ve responded to 160.
GASTONIA, N.C. (WBTV) - Whether it’s a door knock or a doorbell ring, it’s a crime that seems to start the same in one Gastonia neighborhood.
Police say some people are posing as bogus delivery workers to target homes.
On Audubon Drive in Gastonia, neighbors are concerned about an incident that was caught on camera on July 30.
In the video, you hear a person ring the doorbell and say, “Hello, have a delivery.”
That person seen on the front stoop of the home is a suspect, according to police.
“This guy came to our doorbell with a bag, claiming he had a delivery for us,” Mischa Singh said. “He’s like, ‘hey I’m here,’ and he asked for our neighbor.”
Singh said that through the ring camera, her mom told the suspect he had the wrong address.
“About 30 minutes later, they smashed our back glass door, and they cut our screen door, and then they came into our house, and my dad was asleep upstairs, so he heard the smashing, and he came downstairs, and I guess he scared them off,” she said.
Neighbors said the suspect returned to the home with other suspects, and at some point during the day, said he had a delivery at another home.
While police say no property was taken in this incident, they are seeing an increase in home break-ins.
From Jan. 1 to Aug. 6 of 2021, Gastonia Police say they had 129 break-ins.
There have been 160 over that same time span this year.
Gastonia Police Department’s Rick Goodale offered some advice on what to do if you encounter a similar situation.
“It’s best to not engage a suspect because you don’t know if that suspect’s armed, you don’t know what that suspect’s gonna be capable of doing to you,” Goodale said. “If you have an avenue of retreat, retreat and immediately call 911.”
Police also say to watch out for anyone peering through windows, knocking on doors, or ringing the doorbell, because suspects will often do that to see if anyone is at home before breaking and entering.
“I think we want to get more security cameras and we’re just gonna check the ring more often,” Singh said.
Police have released a picture of the vehicle they’re looking for in connection to all this.
It’s a minivan, but it’s difficult to make out both the make and model of the vehicle.
The Gastonia Police Department asks anyone with information about the incident or suspects to call Crime Stoppers of Gaston County at 704-861-8000.
You may be eligible for a cash reward and can stay anonymous.
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