A Littleton man is behind bars and facing more charges after police say he broke into at least 10 vending machines over a three-day period while on bail in connection with breaking into other vending machines in July.
Capt. Andy Jackson, head of investigations for the Roanoke Rapids Police Department, said Det. Bobby Martin charged Damien Artis, 25, of Littleton, with 10 counts of breaking into a coin operated machine and 10 counts of damage to property in connection with a string of vending machine break-ins that occurred Saturday, Sunday and Monday at various locations in and around the city.
Jackson said Sgt. Paul Ward and Det. Sgt. Chris Scott, of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, gave vital assistance to the investigation.
“We had arrested Artis earlier this month for coin machine breaking and entering,” Martin said. “He got out, and we had another string of machines broken into, and we started looking into it and seeing what we could do to stop it.”
Jackson said early Monday morning Officer Chris Babb spotted Artis and another man, Larry Joyner, near a gas station and approached them.
“(Babb) found evidence that showed the two men had been possibly involved in more coin-operated machine breaking and enterings,” Martin said. “Through further investigation, we determined they had been.”
Artis is charged with 10 more counts of breaking into a coin operated machine and 10 more counts of criminal damage to property, in addition to the three he was already facing for similar crimes in July for which he was free on bond.
Joyner, 31, of Weldon, is charged with criminal damage to property.
Both men remain in the Halifax County Detention Center, Artis under a $10,000 bond and Joyner under $1,000 bond. They are due in court Sept. 18.
Jackson gave Babb credit for his work on the case.
“This was partially a result of Babb being alert and responding to a call,” Jackson said. “He recognized the suspect, and we give him props for being on his toes. It was very good police work.”