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Mop bucket id#8217;s BE suspect

AULANDER – A beer, a padlock and a mop bucket.

Those three items landed a Kelford man in the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail on Saturday.

Willie Bazemore, 33, was arrested by Aulander Police Chief Jimmy Barmer at around 9 a.m. on Saturday after law enforcement officials from six different agencies descended on Aulander to assist Barmer in apprehending a suspect wanted in connection with a string of break-ins.

Bazemore, who is being held under a $60,000 cash bond, stands charged with felony breaking-and-entering (B&E), felony larceny, 1st degree burglary, two counts of felony attempted B&E, four counts of injury to real property and resist, delay and obstruct.

According to Chief Barmer, Bazemore’s only successful theft came at the Aulander Red Apple Market, located at 101 South Commerce Street, where the suspect allegedly stole a beer, a padlock and the mop bucket used by store employees.

“I was called out at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday after a passer-by noticed the front door glass was busted out at Red Apple and the alarm was going off,” Barmer said.

En route to the scene, Barmer said he received another call regarding the alarm sounding at Terry’s Hardware (111-113 North Commerce Street).

Upon arriving at Red Apple, Barmer was in the process of viewing the store’s surveillance tape when he got his first big tip on the case.

“The store manager told me they had just noticed a black male wearing dark clothing walking down Commerce Street,” Barmer said. “That person matched the description of the person I was seeing on the tape, but the real key was that the man was seen carrying some sort of bucket.”

By this time, Bertie Sheriff’s Corporal Kenny Cobb had arrived to assist Barmer.

“As Corporal Cobb was approaching the man to question him, the man fled into a field,” Barmer said.

Additional manpower was summoned to help with the search. Hertford County deputies Dexter Hayes and Tom Nelms, Windsor Police Officer Ricky Morris, Deputy Eddie Hoggard and Corporal Kenny Perry of the Bertie Sheriff’s Office, NC Wildlife Commission Officer Tim Wadsworth and Sgt. J.D. Wiggins and his K-9 of the Gates County Sheriff’s Office responded.

“I even had my wife, Sheree, using my personal vehicle keeping the road hot around the search area just in case the suspect emerged,” Barmer said. “Also, Thurman Morris, who works for the town, helped out.”

Despite the manpower, the officers were unable to locate the suspect.

“I released everyone at that point, but Officer Wadsworth decided to remain in town to help out,” Barmer said.

That fact later proved vital in apprehending the suspect.

Barmer and Wadsworth went back into the downtown area to investigate any other B&E attempts. They found one at Aulander Furniture where entry was attempted through a rear door.

“Officer Wadsworth left after that, but he called me just minutes later and said he had just seen a man fitting the description walking west on Main Street,” Barmer said. “We approached the man who identified himself as Willie Bazemore. We questioned him and he admitted to the crimes.”

After transporting Bazemore to Windsor, Barmer received another call about a B&E at Roy’s TV, located at 103 East Main Street, Aulander.

“The owner said he was spending the night at his store and was awakened by a loud noise at about 3:30 a.m.,” Barmer reported. “The owner said a person was shining a flashlight at him and that he grabbed his flashlight and returned the favor. At that point, the person ran from the store.”

Chief Barmer thanked everyone for their assistance in helping to apprehend the suspect. He offered a special thanks to Wadsworth.

“Tim’s keen eye was what turned this around for us,” Barmer said. “He remained on the alert. Without that, this suspect may have slipped through our grasp.”