WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A 65-year-old habitual felon was sentenced to more than eight years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to stealing appliances from newly constructed homes.
Delone Alford, of Wilmington, was sentenced to 103 to 136 months in prison.
On June 8, 2019, Wilmington police were dispatched to a report of a break-in at a newly constructed home on Snowden Road in the Riverlights community.
“A realtor noticed water coming from underneath the front door and the inside garage door," a news release from the District Attorney’s Office states. "When the realtor entered the home, he found the entire home was flooded and the refrigerator and dishwasher had been stolen. There was extensive damage due to flooding to the home, which was unoccupied but under contract at the time. The flooding was caused by the suspect cutting the water line when stealing the dishwasher.”
The WPD’s Crime Scene Investigation Unit was able to lift fingerprints from a microwave that the suspect had tried to take. Two of those prints were later matched to Alford.
Later that same day, a construction manager discovered that an unoccupied home on Broomsedge Terrace in Riverlights had been broken into and its refrigerator was stolen.
“After calling 911, the manager witnessed a green truck with an attached trailer hauling two refrigerators away from the Riverlights community,” the news release states. "The manager caught up with the truck, which was being driven by Alford, on River Road, and told Alford to stop.
“Alford attempted to flee, going over a median and driving the wrong way down the road. When the manager caught up with Alford again, Alford slammed the trailer into the manager’s truck, dropped the trailer on the street and fled the scene.”
Alford later was taken into custody near the intersection of 17th Street and Delany Road.
On June 9, 2019, a woman in the process of moving into her new home on Indigo Slate Way discovered that a rock had been thrown through her glass door and her refrigerator and mixer had been stolen.
Those two items, along with the refrigerator from the Broomsedge Terrace, were found in the trailer that Alford had been hauling.