Joint investigation lands two teens behind bars

SHELBY — Hours of searching and a joint effort between city and county law enforcement led to the arrests of two teens said to have broken into several homes.

While investigating two recent home break-ins on Bowen Drive, deputies from the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office were contacted by the Shelby Police Department about another break-in near the same area.

Hours later, Dennis Dwayne Hopper Jr., 19, and Deitrick Quillon Hall, 18, were found in the woods near the Holly Oak community, said Cleveland County Sheriff’s Lt. Jon Wright. Both were arrested in connection with the joint investigation.

Shelby Police Lt. Lisa Green said their case stemmed from the Heritage Oaks Community, near Laurel Hill Apartments.

“The backdoor window was busted out,” Green said.

Green said the alarm sounded around 8 a.m. and took officials hours of “relentless” searching before the pair was found and detained.

“There were three K-9s tracking the scent around the surrounding areas,” Wright said. “We worked with the city to contain the area.”

Authorities found stolen property and clothing that had been discarded by the teens in the woods, Wright said.

Suspicious car

A concerned resident alerted authorities about a suspicious car near a home around Bowen Drive, Wright said. The resident told authorities two suspects walked to the back of the home and then left quickly.

When deputies arrived, several items had been stolen, including jewelry and a digital camera, he said.

“During the same time, we had a vacant house that was broken into across the street,” Wright said. “They were moving throughout the woods and into the field.”

The teens attempted to break into another home on Powerline Drive by pushing an air conditioner window unit, he said. But residents scared away the teens.

History

Police said both have previously been arrested for breaking and entering.

Officials are now investigating unsolved cases for any linking evidence, Green said.

Not only was this a team effort between agencies, Wright said, but concerned residents were instrumental in the arrests.

Authorities encourage anyone who observes unusual activity in their neighborhoods to call law enforcement.

“Those are good examples of how citizens helped us arrest the suspects,” Wright said. “Sometimes people are reluctant to get involved but just a little information can be crucial.”

Dennis Dwayne Hopper Jr., 19, and Deitrick Quillon Hall, 18, are charged with two counts felony breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, possession of stolen goods and conspiracy, according to the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office.

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