OAK ISLAND — A Chapel Hill teenager has been arrested for stealing supplies from a food stand on Oak Island.
According to the island’s police department, Cole Emerson Holloway has been arrested for two counts of attempted breaking and entering, and one count of larceny.
The incident took place early morning on June 17 at Drifters food stand, located at the corner of SE 46th Street and E Dolphin Drive. Camera footage showed three individuals in the area of the stand and supplies were stole from outside the business. No entry was made into the food stand.
Locals tipped off law enforcement after the robbery, saying social media posts featured the suspects in different locations on the island. Officers located the suspected, but Holloway was the only individual arrested, due to age. The other two will be processed by petition through juvenile courts.
“This shows an important opportunity we have to build a stronger trust and working relationship with the community,” Chief Charlie Morris said of the community’s tips leading to the arrest.
However, the department also asks for more help in the future. “The timing on information received is critical and can often make the difference in how a case is resolved,” it noted in the release.
The tips were received a few days after the incident, which can play a critical role, especially in crimes committed by temporary visitors.
“We can strengthen our commitment to connect with the public, so that people feel more comfortable coming to us with information first before just commenting on social media,” the chief added. “We don’t monitor private online accounts, so a comment there is just a comment, but a call to us can make a difference.”
The department has launched a new campaign, #CallBeforeYouComment, to encourage the public to reach out to police directly with information regarding theft, violent crimes, parking and dune violations, etc. before posting to social media.
Individuals can call 910-278-5595 or use a contact form at www.OakIslandNC.gov/PD.
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