CHATHAM — Three contractors from Laurinburg are accused of breaking into a residence and barn and stealing multiple hand tools, drills, saws, a pressure washer and an air compressor.


Jimmy Ray Kessler, 37, of 13700 St. Luke Church Road, Laurinburg, Vernon Leroy Smith, Jr., 27, of 9971 Academy Road, Laurinburg, and Maliki Sanderson, 23, of 7981 Hasty Road, Laurinburg, are each charged with two counts of felony breaking and entering and two counts of felony larceny.


On March 25, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a breaking and entering near Deer Run, Pittsboro. Investigators were able to connect the three contractors to the crime and recover some of the stolen items. The contractors had previously done work for the victim.


Sanderson was served by N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission on May 7 and was scheduled to appear in Chatham County District Court on May 21. Kessler was served by Scotland County Sheriff’s Office on June 4. Smith remains unserved.


“We appreciate our law enforcement partners around the state who have assisted us in locating two of the three suspects in this case,” says Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson in a press release. “We are still seeking a third suspect and encourage anyone with any information regarding the incident, including the location of Mr. Smith, to contact our non-emergency line, 919-542-2911.”