Macon County deputies accused Gregory Thomas Bufkin of committing at least 12 break-ins around the Highlands and Scaly Mountain area. A security camera at a woman’s residence supposedly caught him in the act and led to his swift arrest.
Sheriff Robert Holland noted that Bufkin noticed the camera and hurried out of the home during that particular incident, FOX Carolina reported.
"He comes into the back area of the residence and within just a few seconds he notices the camera," Holland said. "It’s obvious from the video that he sees the camera. And he says a couple of things and hurries up out the door."
Investigators interviewed Bufkin, then seized several pieces of evidence, including multiple pieces of jewelry and two firearms. Deputies found some of the items inside Bufkin’s FedEx truck, KCRA reported.
Holland described Bufkin’s alleged activity as crimes of opportunity since a number of the homes had left doors and windows unlocked.
"While this case remains very active and we continue to follow up with information obtained during interviews, we can tie Mr. Bufkin to thefts in at least 11 break-ins in the Highlands area," Holland said. "While we have solved multiple thefts in our area, some items recovered are from thefts that have not been discovered by homeowners and therefore have not been reported."
Bufkin faces dozens of charges, including 7 counts felony possession of stolen goods, 7 counts breaking and entering, 7 counts larceny and 6 counts of larceny of a firearm.
Authorities said the investigation is ongoing and more charges may follow. Some of the homes may belong to part-time residents, who could report further crimes in the coming weeks.
Bufkin remains in custody at the Macon County Detention Center on a $180,000 bond.