The information informed Carrboro police that Dwayne Russell Edwards, a suspect in a sexual assault in Chapel Hill, would be returning to his apartment by car.
Using the information, Carrboro police were able to stop Edwards before he even reached his home.
The arrest was a break in the investigation of three sexual assaults in the Carrboro and Chapel Hill area and, police felt, removed a violent criminal from the street.
It also highlighted a relationship that many residents don't consider very unusual anymore: the interaction of at least four agencies in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area.
In addition to the collaboration of the two municipal agencies, the UNC Department of Public Safety also participated by investigating Edwards' background as a University employee.
"Obviously the severity of this crime is not something we encounter everyday," said Maj. Jeff McCracken of UNC police. "But it's not that uncommon to have a criminal in this community who breaks the law in several agencies."
The agencies often work on cases, especially in crimes such as car break-ins, where the offenders will strike in both municipalities. When an offender is at large, the agency puts out information by way of the 911 dispatch service so that every police department in the area receives the information.
The Carrboro-Chapel Hill area and the UNC campus are served by four nearby agencies including the Chapel Hill Police Department, Carrboro Police Department, UNC police and the independent police of UNC Hospitals.
The agencies also work with the Orange County Sheriff's office in some cases. "In my experience, while it may be unusual, it's the norm for us," Carrboro Police Chief Carolyn Hutchison said.