Three Jailed for Cerro Gordo Thefts

Shawn Demarques Doe
Shawn Demarques Doe

Firearms, tobacco and cash were the targets of three alleged thieves arrested after a string of break-ins in western Columbus.

Shawn Demarques Doe, 18, a 14-year-old and a suspect who is 15 face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges. Doe lives in Cerro Gordo, according to jail reports.

The three allegedly broke into a number of vehicles and the Cerro Gordo Tiger Mart between Aug. 9 and Aug. 15, the sheriff’s office said in a press release.

Deputies were called to the Tiger Mart after an alarm was activated Aug. 9, the release said. They found blood, and broken glass in front of the store. Surveillance cameras showed the suspects leaving the store, the release said. E-cigarettes and cigar blunts were among the items taken.

The sheriff’s office released the video online, and received numerous tips about the trio, the release said. The suspects were identified by persons who saw the surveillance footage.

On Aug. 12, investigators were in the Cerro Gordo area when they spotted one of the juvenile suspects. The youth was taken into custody and transported to the Law Enforcement Center. He had an e-cigarette on his person, and a badly-cut finger, apparently from broken glass at the Tiger Mart. The boy was not interviewed until a guardian arrived, the release said.

On Aug. 15, deputies arrested Doe and the other juvenile. All three were charge with felony breaking, entering and larceny, and felony conspiracy. The juveniles were transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in New Hanover.

Further investigation showed the juveniles were involved in several break-ins in the area, the release said.

A resident of the 100 block of Cherry Street reported the theft of a Springfield 9mm handgun from her home on July 26. The 15-year-old was charged in that crime.

On Aug. 2, the two boys allegedly broke into a car and stole a 9mm Taurus in the 1600 block of Otto Nance Road. Both were charged with larceny of a firearm and felony breaking and entering.

Surveillance footage captured the two teens as they allegedly broke into two vehicles in the 1100 block of Cherry Grove Road on Aug. 11. The teens took a Schwinn bicycle and an Arlo camera. A deputy found the camera in the roadway, but it had been damaged. The bicycle was found at the home of one of the youth. Both were charged with misdemeanor larceny, felony breaking, entering and larceny, and misdemeanor property damage.

The pair hit two more properties on Aug. 11, according to the news release. A vehicle window was shattered with a rock in the 300 block of Railroad Street, and the vehicle ransacked. A storage building was also hit on Cherry Street, and two bicycles stolen. One of the bikes was later found in a canal. That theft led to charges of felony breaking, entering and larceny.

Sheriff Jody Greene urged parents to monitor their children’s whereabouts, and to lock all vehicles and secure your valuables.

“We would like to remind everyone the importance of removing valuables from vehicles and always locking vehicle doors.  As we see in one of these incidents, it may not stop the criminal from taking your property, but it will certainly slow them down.

“It is imperative that parents know where their children are and what they are doing. These crimes occurred during hours that these juveniles should have been home with their parents/guardians.  Instead, they were unsupervised, breaking into and stealing other people’s property.  Monitor your children’s cell phones and online presence.  Ask them questions about their activities.  It is our job, as parents, to ensure they are safe and to guide them to make the right decisions.”

Greene said the public’s assistance was a major part of the investigation.

“You did the right thing and reported what you knew, resulting in two delinquent juveniles and an adult being arrested.”

Additional charges are possible in the case, the sheriff’s office said.

About Jefferson Weaver 2155 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].