Major equipment theft bust includes Brunswick County - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Major equipment theft bust includes Brunswick County

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - Five people are under arrest after a two year investigation into equipment theft across North Carolina, including Brunswick County, according to authorities with the state Division of Motor Vehicles.

The DMV's License and Theft Bureau says it worked with nineteen law enforcement agencies in eastern North Carolina to solve the crimes, which have amounted to more than a million dollars of stolen equipment. The DMV says $537,887 worth of items have been recovered so far.

The suspects in the case are accused of stealing grass mowers, lawn equipment, trailers, back hoes, tractors, skid steers and mini excavators. Most of the thefts took place at night after authorities say the suspects checked out target during daylight hours at businesses, construction companies and farms.

The following people are charged:

  • William Thomas Johnson, 48 from Plymouth, faces 104 felony counts. He was arrested in 2011.
  • Clinton Gray Dawson, 41 from Plymouth, faces 112 felony counts. He was also arrested in 2011.
  • Michael Anthony Hill, 45 from Windsor, faces 15 felony counts.
  • Leon Fitzgerald Davis, 45 from Dunn, faces 40 felony counts.
  • Timothy Omar Hankins, 45 from Garner, is charged with six felonies.

The investigation continues and more people may face charges.

The counties where items were stolen and recovered include Chowan, Pitt, Martin, Washington, Beaufort, Greene, Craven, Brunswick, Wake, Harnett, Lenoir, Nash, Duplin and Wilson counties. Authorities even recovered some goods as far away as Mecklenburg County.

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