Halloween break-ins investigated
Detectives are investigating a rash of break-ins and vandalism that occurred in Canton this week at two schools and three downtown businesses.
Det. Shawn Gaddis with the Canton Police Department says the first reported incident was at North Canton Elementary on Monday when a school employee discovered several mops and miscellaneous items had been broken.
Principal Todd Barbee later found five ceramic chairs were damaged and the bases on the baseball field had been used to break the windows of the press box. The total amount of damages was about $825, according to reports, although it did not appear anything was stolen.
The same day, Chris Ulery, band director at Canton Middle School, reported a window had been broken out of the band room. But, again, there were no missing items.
Police are also investigating three other break-ins at businesses, although they are not sure if the same suspect is involved.
In the early morning hours on Wednesday, someone threw a pumpkin through the front door of Mane Street Fur, a pet store on Main Street.
The suspect pried open a safe and stole business checks, according to reports.
Hours later, someone used a hammer to break into nearby El Chapala and stole the cash register containing $300 from the countertop.
Video surveillance shows a white male in his 20s with brown hair wearing a blue hooded jacket break in and escape in a small, black car.
Gaddis said the hammer used in the break-in at El Chapala had been stolen from the pet store.
Detectives with the Haywood County Sheriff's Office are also investigating a break-in at Canton Animal Hospital, where the suspect gained entry by breaking a window and then stole money and medication.
While there are no suspects identified in any of the cases, Canton Police Chief Bryan Whitner said he believes one person is responsible for the business break-ins.
"With the holidays approaching, it's a good time to remind people to secure their valuables, keep everything locked and take all the precautionary measures they can," Whitner said.
He encourages anyone with any information to call the Canton Police Department at 828-648-2376.