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Candy, electronics taken in Erwin Middle break-in; two charged

By Nathan Hardin
nhardin@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY – When all else fails, follow the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Especially when they’re leading away from a burglary scene.
Deputies followed the philosophy, and the chocolate trail, Wednesday morning after a report of suspicious persons near Erwin Middle School.
Authorities found electronics and candy missing from the school. They later arrested two 19-year-olds.
According to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Officer Tim Cook responded to Erwin Middle on St. Lukes Church Road about 10 p.m.
A witness told officers two “shadowy figures” had been standing near a fence at the school and were handing items over it, the report said.
Cook stopped near U.S. 52 and did a preliminary walk of the fence line.
He called in a dog unit and additional officers when he found a broken window and a large pile of candy, including Peanut M&Ms and Charms Blow Pops.
Deputies said they found a mobile home classroom had been broken into and a printer was missing.
A cord was found in a patch of grass near the concession stand.
Tracks from what appeared to be a cart or wagon trailed through the field, the report said.
A green utility wagon was later reported missing.
Deputies said they continued to search the area for other buildings that were damaged.
The concession stand, authorities said, was hit the hardest.
Boxes of Snickers, Cowtails, 3 Musketeers and other candies were missing. A few Gatorades had been consumed at the scene.
“It looks like they pretty much cleaned out the concession stand,” Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Capt. John Sifford said.
Blood was found on the blinds of one of the shattered windows, the report said. It was taken as evidence.
Officers followed the dog and a sparse trail of candy to a nearby mobile home park.
The candy initially appeared to lead to a residence at the park, deputies said, but continued toward Granite Quarry.
Tamarcus Darnell Phillips, of West Kerr Street, and Quinton Devontie Richardson, of West Cemetery Street, were stopped by officers as they walked down Old Route 80 near Yost Farm Road about 1 a.m.
The two teenagers were about a mile away from the middle school.
Phillips’ hand was bleeding from a fresh cut, deputies said.
But no candy was found in their possession.
Richardson and Phillips were arrested and charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny and misdemeanor injury to real property.
They were in jail Wednesday morning under $10,000 bonds each.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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