Garner thief steals cash, phones and charity money in overnight crime spree

Joel Brown Image
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Crook embarks on Garner crime spree
EMBED <>More Videos

The crook was caught on surveillance video.

GARNER, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Garner's Alossi Renewal Spa was one of the six businesses struck in an overnight crime spree that began around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. At Alossi, the crook didn't just steal money from the spa, he also grabbed the donations for a local charity.

Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App

"It was kind of crazy," said Dena McDonald, Alossi's owner.

McDonald's crazy morning started with a phone call from one of the businesses nearby.

"She said, 'Dena you need to come to the spa, someone has thrown something through the window and they broke the front door,' " McDonald recalled.

She returned to her spa to find the front glass door shattered from top to bottom. Surprised and in shock, she took to Twitter - angrily asking: "What's wrong with people?"

The crook was caught on surveillance video in a black hoodie. Along with the money he took from the spa's cash box, he also stole the $200 the spa had raised from its annual raffle to benefit the local charity, Able to Serve, a Garner-based non-profit dedicated to enhancing the lives of special-needs adults.

"It just kind of rattles you," McDonald said. "You lose a little faith all of a sudden in people."

All six businesses broken into are along U.S. 70 between Timber Drive and New Rand Road.

The locations targeted during the crime spree.

Garner Police said they suspect the same man in every crime; stealing cell phones from the Verizon store, prying open the take-away door at Outback Steakhouse, cracking through an entrance of Carolina Barbecue and hitting the Domino's Pizza and the ABC Store before it was all over.

The hooded thief got away and in most of the break-ins, he left empty-handed.

"I'm hoping (City County Bureau of Identification) got really good fingerprints because they felt like they had some kind of prints," McDonald said.

But while Garner Police searched for the crook, the community stepped up to help McDonald's cause - writing checks to replace all of the stolen charity money.

"I got this outpouring of love and friendship from people," she said. "Even now more people are saying they're going to buy raffle tickets, so I'm hoping we raise a record amount now."

Garner PD is asking anyone who may recognize the suspect or may know anything about the crimes to call them.