Police used home alarms to track burglar - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Police used home alarms to track burglar

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Charles Cribb (Source: Georgetown County Detention Center) Charles Cribb (Source: Georgetown County Detention Center)

PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC (WMBF) – Empty beach houses in the upscale community of Pawleys Island became a target for break-ins this winter. Now, police believe they have a suspect in custody responsible for over a dozen burglaries.

"We had a series of burglaries we were trying to solve. Over 13 homes were broken into and more than 20 televisions were taken," says Chief Michael Fanning with the Pawleys Island Police Department.

Burglaries are often hard to solve because of the lack of witnesses.

"Especially because we were dealing with beach houses," explains Chief Fanning, "they could sit empty for weeks without anyone knowing they were broken into."

In this case, technology provided the pieces missing to this puzzle.

"They made the mistake of tripping off some alarms," says Chief Fanning.

Those alarms became a huge key in this investigation. Officers were able to make a time line of when and where the break-ins were happening. Combining that information with other evidence led police to suspect Charles Cribb.

"At one point an officer saw a vehicle in the area, a couple times through the evening," says Chief Fanning. He explains that those sightings coincided with when the alarms were going off.

"Looking into it, we realized the car belongs to the suspect, Cribb, to his mother," says Chief Fanning.

Police say that places Cribb at the scene of the crime.

Working with the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office, they put all the pieces together to determine Cribb was responsible for the beach-house burglaries.

"They made an arrest for burglary in Georgetown County and that solidified our suspicions," says Chief Fanning.

Cribb wasn't out on the streets, he was already behind bars facing charges for stealing furniture and appliances from a home in the Browns Ferry Community.

The original arrest came from a tip when Cribb tried selling the victim's belongings.

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