4 arrested for break-ins after Hurricane Florence evacuations, sheriff says

Debris from Hurricane Florence covers a street in downtown New Bern, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. — Four people were arrested in connection with break-ins Thursday after many residents and business owners evacuated ahead of Hurricane Florence.

[LIVE UPDATES: Hurricane Florence makes landfall in North Carolina as Category 1]

Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram said while some people might try to take advantage of the situation, residents who have evacuated should not come back until weather conditions are safe.

"I want to send a message to the criminal element that's looking for that opportunity:  We're going to do everything within our power to be very vigilant, working with our community, and if you seek to prey upon the citizens of Brunswick County, we're going to do everything we can to lock you up," Ingram told WWAY. "I made sure ahead of time that we had adequate space for anybody that wanted to try that."

Dashaun Smith, 25, and Brandon Bellamy, 30, were arrested and charged with possession of burglary tools and breaking and entering, WWAY reported. They were each being held on $20,000 bond.

Devin Harris, 21, and Justice Harris, 18, were arrested and charged with breaking and entering of a motor vehicle, WWAY reported. They were each being held on $5,000 bond.