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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : news : news August 12, 2022

6/10/2022 12:21:00 AM
"Smash & Grab" Dollar General Bandits Arrested

Cleveland County Sheriff's
Office Press Release

On Wednesday  (June 8th) deputies with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle related to multiple “smash and grab robberies” in our region. The occupants of the vehicle have been linked and charged with 8 breakins of Dollar General Stores in Cleveland County with thefts mostly of cigarettes.

These breakins and larcenies occurred over the past couple of months. The first was reported to the Sheriff’s Office on April 19th and the most recent last Saturday (June 4th).

As a result of these breakins, deputies were conducting surveillance and high visibility patrols near area Dollar General Stores. Very early Wednesday morning (June 8th)--around 5:00 AM--a deputy spotted a vehicle near a Dollar General Store that matched the suspect vehicle captured on video surveillance during one of the previous breakins. The deputy stopped the vehicle. The occupants were evasive in their responses and made several statements that the deputies found to be untrue. Deputies conducted a search of the vehicle and discovered masks, a crowbar, black trash bags, and a BB pistol, all items used in the previous Dollar General Store breakins.  Subsequently, deputies arrested the occupants for possession of burglary tools and notified detectives who responded and assisted with the case.

As a result of the evidence discovered during the vehicle stop and subsequent investigation, detectives were able to link the suspects to other “smash and grab” breakins at Dollar General Stores throughout the region, including cases in South Carolina. Charges are anticipated in those cases as well.

The suspects were identified as  Gregory Jason Spurling, 33, of 305 Hoyle Circle, Gastonia; and Travis Gene Hopper, 41, of 906 Church Street, Kings Mountain.

Both suspects have been charged with:8 counts of breaking & entering, 6 counts of larceny, and possession of burglary tools.  Both were jailed without bond in the Cleveland County Jail.  

Sheriff Alan Norman said “boots on the ground led to the arrest of these suspects. I feel certain that this investigation will continue to grow across state lines as more victims are identified. People like these suspects should have been gainfully employed but instead chose to steal. The local establishments, in turn, have to pass their losses along to the hardworking people of our county and state.”

Regular readers of the Lincoln Herald will recall that the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office investigated a similar breakin at two different Dollar General stores In April.

On April 10th deputies were dispatched to a burglar alarm call at the Dollar General at 3701 Gastonia Highway. When officers arrived on the scene they found the left front glass door had been shattered. No details on what was taken were made available.

On April 11th at 1:30 AM, deputies were dispatched to a burglar alarm call at the Dollar General at 5415 NC150 east. Officers arrived to find the front door had been shattered. Empty cigarette cartons were scattered around on the floor.


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