Cornelius police nab Mooresville man after 2 home break-ins
by Staff Writer
Within five minutes of his call to 911, a Cornelius police officer arrived, followed shortly thereafter by two more. The officers soon discovered another break-in at the home of an 86-year-old woman, who lives across the street.
Bill McKay came to the Cornelius town board meeting Monday night, Aug. 1, to thank the police department for the way officers responded and treated his father. McKay’s dad was the first break-in victim, and he was clearly shaken when he called McKay in Cincinnati the morning of July 27.
When Sgt. T.L. Crosby arrived at the scene, he took McKay’s father and the other elderly break-in victim under his wing and took the time to reassure them while other officers did their work. The Herald is not identifying either victim because of their age.
As officers processed the break-ins, others started patrolling the area, and one noticed a man riding by on a bicycle with a backpack. According to Capt. Jeff Ramsey, the officer stopped the cyclist, who said he was “looking for a job” in the area and had come from a friend’s home.
The officer asked the cyclist to take him back to his friend’s house. As it turned out, the friend was just an acquaintance, and the man had not come from the house. That gave officers reason to search the man’s backpack, where they found all the items – including coins and candy – stolen from both houses, Ramsey said.
Officers charged the cyclist, identified as Christopher Charles Rich, 26, of 519 Shinnville Road, Mooresville, with two counts each of felony breaking-and-entering, felony larceny and felony larceny after breaking-and-entering, as well as one count of felony possession of stolen property.
According to the Mecklenburg County Jail website, Rich remains in the jail under a $31,500 bond.
Rich told officers he pedaled all the way from Mooresville, but investigators speculate he may have brought his bike in a car, parked somewhere else and then trolled the neighborhood, looking for people leaving their homes. Ramsey said officers never found a car.