The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday June 6th

Officials Link Granville, Avery Crimes

Description, video of suspects are similar

Photographs of the suspects from Granville security videotapes match the description given by the victim of the Avery crime, officials said. Originally, a second man was thought to be a witness, but now he is listed as a suspect on the Department of Public Safety Web site because of the possible link to the Granville crime.

At 6:10 p.m. Thursday, a suspect knocked on the Granville victim's door and said he was in the wrong room, said Jane Cousins, spokeswoman for the Chapel Hill Police Department.

The resident said that he left his room without locking the door at 6:30 p.m. and that when he came back at 6:45 p.m., his laptop computer and cellular phone were gone, Cousins said.

At 6:51 p.m. Thursday, an Avery resident reported that he was robbed at gunpoint of his laptop computer, cell phone, gold chain and $4 while in his room. The burglar knocked on the door and asked where another resident's room was, closed the door and re-entered the room without knocking, police reports state.

University police Maj. Jeff McCracken would not connect the two crimes but said police are investigating a link between the Avery robbery and another crime.

The physical descriptions of the suspect given by the Avery and Granville victims prompted police to link the two crimes, Cousins said. "The (Granville) victim said that the man who poked his head in matched the description of the Avery suspect."

Pictures from Granville security videotapes have been forwarded to University police because of a possible connection between the crimes, Cousins said.

"We received a videotape from Granville Towers which showed the two suspects entering the hall where the victim's room is located," Cousins said.

McCracken said the connection could prove to be a major development in the investigation. "The lead we're working right now is with these two photographs."

Another possible lead could be the laptop computer stolen from the Avery room, McCracken said. Locating the computer is one possible way of catching the suspect. "We've taken the serial number and logged it in as stolen in the state computer system," he said. "That way if the thieves try to sell it, we may be able to catch them."

An artist's depictions of both men have been circulated around UNC since Friday but have not yielded any leads, McCracken said.

Anyone with information to help in identifying and locating the two suspects may call 962-8100 or Carrboro-Chapel Hill-UNC Crime Stoppers at 942-7515. All calls are confidential.

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