CORNELIUS – A man was spotted breaking into a car on the 130 block of South 11th Avenue in Cornelius early Friday morning. About two minutes after the 911 call, police got there and started the search. After about an hour, 20-year-old Antolio Mendoza-Cruz from Cornelius was captured and charged with five counts of Unauthorized Entry into a Motor Vehicle.
During the search, police found backpacks, a laptop, and other valuable items thrown away or hidden by Mendoza-Cruz. They found out there were five vehicles broken into, with possibly more. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office commends citizens for being alert and calling in the criminal activity. Cornelius Police Chief moss says, “If you see something, say something. This coordinated partnership with citizens is critical to help keep our community safe.”
Most of the stolen items were in plain sight and a lot of the vehicles were unlocked. Deputies want to remind people to always lock their vehicles and remove or keep any valuables out of sight.