A picture is worth a thousand words

By Keith Strange

May 1, 2014

Just one day after The Mount Airy News published photos taken by a homeowner of two men trying to break into her home, Sheriff Graham Atkinson said two men have been identified and warrants have been issued for their arrests.

The attempted break-in occurred Monday at a home on Ararat Road.

“As the suspects were attempting to gain entry, the homeowner picked up an iPad and made photographs of two of the suspects while they were attempting to force open an exterior door,” he said.

“She had the presence of mind to take pictures of the men while they were trying to break into her home,” Atkinson added. “She was there on the other side of the door taking their picture while they were trying to break in.”

After she took several photographs of the suspects, they realized the homeowner was taking their pictures and left the premises in what was described as a gray 1980s-model SUV or pickup.

The next day, Atkinson released the images taken by the homeowner to the media and they quickly spread throughout the region. On the Mount Airy News website, the photos received more than 62,000 page views in 24 hours. They were also shared on Facebook more than 150 times, reaching more than 18,000 people.

“Later that evening, one of the suspects made contact with the Surry County Sheriff’s Office,” Atkinson said. “The suspect said he had seen himself on the news and that he wanted to turn himself in.”

After the suspect, identified as Michael Andrew Burrow, 36, of Payne Road in Lexington, was taken into custody, he posted bail and was released.

“After interviewing (Burrow) and following leads that were generated through the ensuing investigation, investigators have issued warrants for an additional suspect,” Atkinson said.

That warrant is for Charles Edward Harris, 40, of Peters Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem.

Both Burrows and Harris are being charged with breaking and entering.

Atkinson asks that anyone with information about the whereabouts of Harris call the Surry County Sheriff’s Office at 336-401-8900.

Keith Strange can be reached at 336-719-1929 or via Twitter @strangereporter.