BRUNSWICK — A Durham man has been implicated in a dozen car burglaries in the area and could be connected to another 20 after he admitted to involvement last week, police said.

Robert J. Carroll, 21, confessed to the break-ins after he was arrested on Aug. 21, Deputy Police Chief Marc Hagan said.

In the hours leading up to his arrest, Carroll allegedly broke into a McLellan Street house, where two children witnessed the theft of a laptop computer, Hagan said. The mother of the two children saw Carroll leave as she arrived; she alerted police and provided a description of the intruder.

Carroll was later arrested at Curtis Memorial Library, where police found him with the stolen laptop, Hagan said.

“Eventually he admitted to a series of car breaks (while being held),” Hagan said.

Lt. Michael Moody said there have been 60 reported cases of burglaries in Brunswick since June, and a majority of the cases involved cars as the primary target.

Police have been able to connect Carroll with at least a dozen cases, Moody said, after they matched the stolen property.

“He’s suspected to have another 20,” the lieutenant said.

Moody said he estimates Carroll stole between 50-60 items – most of them consumer electronics like computers, phones and GPS devices – although he could not be specific.

While police have been able to return some of the stolen goods to their owners, the lieutenant said, it’s possible that some residents may have not even realized that their property is missing.

For that reason, Moody said people should check to see if all of their belongings are accounted for. If not, they should contact the Police Department.

Carroll was arrested on charges of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, burglary, possession or transfer of burglar’s tools, criminal mischief and sale and use of drug paraphernalia.

Carroll is being held at Cumberland County Jail.

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.

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Robert J. Carroll, 21, of Durham is a suspect in at least a dozen car burglaries in Brunswick.

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