Bladenboro man charged in store break-ins

Coleman Johnson
Coleman Johnson

Candy, cigarettes, laundry detergent, even laundry hampers were among the things allegedly stolen by a Bladenboro man during a string of break-ins at area stores, according to the sheriff’s office.

Coleman Dean Johnson, 41, of Midway Drive, Bladenboro, was arrested by Bladenboro Police early Friday. He faces four counts each of breaking and entering, larceny, and injury to property. His bond was set at $80,000.

The sheriff’s office reported that Johnson was identified on surveillance video after breaking into stores in North Whiteville, Cerro Gordo, and Mollie. On Oct. 4, he allegedly broke through the door of the Family Dollar in Cerro Gordo, and fled with two clothes hampers, cartons of Snickers bars and M&Ms, shampoo, body wash ginger ale and other items.

 Several days later, on Oct. 9, Johnson was reportedly caught on video repeating the same break-in at the Mini Express in Cerro Gordo. From that store, the sheriff’s office said, Johnson took 22 cartons of cigarettes.

Two days later, deputies responded to burglar alarms at the Dollar General in North Whiteville and the Mollie Dollar General at almost the same time. The North Whiteville store reported eight containers of Gain laundry detergent and a laundry basket were stolen. At Mollie, the suspect took laundry detergent, fabric softener, air fresheners, cigarette lighters and Tiger Balm pain patches. The calls were sent within 15 minutes of each other, according to the sheriff’s office.

The total value of the stolen property was $1,912.

Bladenboro Police developed information about Johnson, according to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, and reviewed the security footage from the stores. The officers were able to positively identify Johnson as the suspect from the videos. BPD officers knew Johnson, according to the sheriff’s office, and picked him up early Friday morning.

“We would like to thank Bladenboro Police Department for their assistance with this investigation,” Sheriff Jody Greene said in a press release. “Their assistance was paramount in quickly solving these cases and apprehending the suspect.”

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About Jefferson Weaver 1386 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and the News Director for WTXY AM1540 & Kool 103.9FM Radio. He can be reached at (910) 632-4965, or by email at