NC brothers made off with nearly $1 million in cash, goods in ‘hole in the wall’ burglaries

Donald and Donneill Brown

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Investigators say two brothers are accused of taking close to $1 million in cash and goods from dozens of eastern Carolina businesses.

Donneill Brown, 34, and his brother, Donald Brown, 33, both of Greenville, were charged with at least 60 “hole in the wall” burglaries.

The two brothers were arrested Tuesday in a joint investigation with multiple law enforcement agencies from several counties.

The Browns are charged with 203 felony counts just in Pitt County. The dollar amount taken totals $201,431 for 30 burglaries. Many of the cases had unknown amounts listed while some also also had property stolen.

For about four years, crooks have been disarming alarm systems, cutting holes in the back walls or the roofs of businesses, and then breaking into the safe once inside.

A judge Wednesday morning set Donneill Brown’s bond at $11.7 million. Judge Lee Teague says if convicted of all charges the man faces 319 years in prison.

Donald Brown’s bond was set at $9.2 million. If convicted, the judge said his maximum time in prison would be 236 years.

At an afternoon news conference, Sheriff Neil Elks says they found evidence at one of the homes that linked the two to several cases.

Greenville Deputy Chief Ted Sauls says so far the Browns are charged in 12 of their 22 “hole in the wall” cases.

Beaufort County Sheriff Ernie Coleman says his deputies are looking at 15 cases that may be linked to the two.

Elks says throughout the years, thousands of man hours have been expended, and they eliminated 30 to 40 suspects.

Investigators say the Browns are also accused of taking more than just cash from the businesses. They ask if you recognize them and believe you may have purchased goods from them to call law enforcement so that stolen property can be returned to the owners.

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