Arrest made in Ivor business burglary

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 29, 2008

COURTLAND—One man is in jail, and arrest warrants have been issued for two others accused of participating in a burglary at a small engine repair shop on Route 460 in Ivor.

Michael Eugene Steed, 47, of Norfolk was arrested April 12 after confessing his involvement in the burglary earlier this month of Crawford’s Small Engine Repair Shop, according to Detective Cpl. Richard Morris of the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office.

A security video from the business recorded portions of the burglary, including an image of the U-Haul that suspects used to haul away lawn mowers and other equipment. The truck was identified by a graphic of skiers and the word “Vermont” on its side, along with the fact that the driver’s-side logo was missing the letters “-Hau.”

After viewing the tape, detectives called the U-Haul corporate offices, which alerted its dealers to be on the lookout for the vehicle. A dealer on Raby Road in Norfolk recognized the vehicle’s description and called the Sheriff’s Office, Morris said.

Detectives filed a search warrant for the vehicle and its rental records. According to an affidavit filed in support of the warrant, Steed was listed as having rented the vehicle April 5.

Detectives retrieved latent fingerprints, a shoe impression, a “rubberlike molding,” straw, a cigar wrapper and a bolt from the vehicle, the search warrant states.

Using the information they gained from U-Haul, Detective Sgt. J.S. Ricks interviewed Steed, who said he had participated in the burglary, along with Russell Rogerson of Norfolk and Derek Cherry, address unknown, according to an affidavit that Ricks filed. The trio had taken the items to a storage unit.

On April 14, Ricks executed a search warrant at Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, where he seized a Husqvarna riding mower, a Ferris walk-behind mower, a Ferris mower bagger and assorted bedroom furniture, according to that search warrant.

Steed has been charged with breaking and entering in the nighttime. Other charges are pending, Morris said.

“Our investigation is showing that we may just be hitting the tip of the iceberg here,” he added.