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Criminal Investigations Division

The Criminal Investigations Division is responsible for the investigation of criminal offenses committed in Buncombe County jurisdiction. Reflecting the increasingly complex nature of contemporary police work, the division has grown more specialized over the recent years.

This Division is commanded by a Criminal Investigations Captain. The Captain is assisted by one unit Lieutenant and one Administrative Assistant.

The Detectives of the Criminal Investigations Division are assigned to one of the various areas of responsibility.

These are:

Major Crimes Unit is responsible for investigation of the Major incidents. Major Incidents are defined as Homicide, Armed Robbery, and this level of crimes

BEST (Breaking and Entering Suppression Team) unit is responsible for the Property crime incidents such as breaking and entering, larceny, obtaining property by false pretense. This unit works very closely with the Field Investigation Unit to provide response and solution to property crimes as quickly as possible after they are committed.

Special Investigations Unit is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of crimes against people, money crimes, sexual assaults, violence or assaults and gang related incidents.

Field Investigation Detectives are assigned to work with the Patrol Division and be first response to incidents that the Patrol Deputies are responding to in real time. As much as possible they will work and handle cases that can be worked and disposed of soon after they occurred. If cases require longer term investigations the Detectives will arrange information and turn over to one of the other Detectives in one of the other sections.

BCAT (Buncombe County Anticrime Taskforce) is the drug suppression and investigative unit. These Detectives work longer term cases, primarily drug related cases. Some of these investigations require months of undercover and investigative work that is out of the spectrum of regular Detective work.

Persons wishing to give drug information may contact the BCAT unit directly at (828) 232-1580, or Crime Stoppers at (828) 255-5050.

Each of The Criminal Investigations units are responsible to take incidents or cases from beginning through investigation, collection of evidence, interviewing and collecting information from both victims and suspects. These Detectives are responsible from beginning and follow through all aspects, working with the District Attorney's Office for prosecution and final disposition of the cases.

How do I report my vehicle stolen?

If I Don't Know Who Took My Vehicle

Call (828) 250-6670 to contact the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office Dispatcher.

A Patrol Deputy will be dispatched out to the theft location to take your vehicle theft offense report.

You will need your vehicle identification number or vehicle license plate number.

You will need a vehicle description.

If you have any suspect information, please have it available for the patrol deputy at this time.

You will be provided a case number at this time. Please place this case number in a safe place to refer to at a later date.

If I loaned My Vehicle to Someone, and they DIDN'T return it.

If you loaned your vehicle to a family member or friend and this person failed to return it to you in a timely manner this is NOT auto theft. Your case will be handled as Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle.

Call (828) 250-6670 to contact the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office Dispatcher.

A Patrol Deputy will be dispatched out to the incident location to take your vehicle offense report.

You will need your vehicle identification number or vehicle license plate number.

You will need your vehicle description.

You will need to provide the patrol deputy with the name of the person that you loaned the vehicle to, their date of birth, complete description of this person, their last known address.

You will be provided a case number at this time. Please place this case number in a safe place to refer to it later.

Tips to Prevent YOU from Becoming an Auto Theft Victim

Take Your Keys. One out of every five vehicles stolen had the keys in it.

Lock Your Car. Approximately half of all vehicles stolen were left unlocked.

Never Hide a Second Set of Keys in Your Car. Extra keys can easily be found if a thief takes time to look.

Park in Well-Lighted Areas.

Park in Attended Lots. Auto thieves do not like witnesses and prefer unattended parking lots.

If You Park in an Attended Lot, Leave Only the Ignition/Door Key. If your trunk and glovebox use the same key as the door, have one of them changed. Don't give the attendant easy access to your glovebox and trunk. Upon returning, check the tires, spare and battery to insure they are the same as those you had when you parked.

Never Leave Your Car Running, Even if You'll Only Be Gone for a Minute. Vehicles are commonly stolen at convenience stores, gas stations, ATM's, etc. Many vehicles are also stolen on cold mornings when the owner leaves the vehicle running to warm up.

Completely Close Car Windows When Parking. Don't make it any easier for the thief to enter your vehicle.

Don't Leave Valuables in Plain View. Don't make your car a more desirable target for thieves by leaving valuables in plain sight.

Fraud Against the Elderly

In recent years, fraud crimes against elderly persons have been on the increase across the United States. The Sheriff's Office monitors these types of offenses, aggressively investigates and prosecutes anyone who perpetrates a fraud against an elderly person. These investigations are handled through the Financial Crimes Unit of the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office.

These crimes very often involve construction projects around the home, such as roofing and driveway. Typically, the perpetrators will enter subdivisions and approach homes where they believe or know an elderly person may live. They will attempt to convince the victim that they need a certain type of repair completed on their home. If the victim agrees to allow the work to be started, the perpetrator will insist on payment prior to starting or completing the work. When they receive payment, the work ends poorly or not finished. If payment is made by check, the perpetrator goes directly to the bank to cash the check.

The following are guidelines to follow to avoid being victimized by this type of criminal activity.

If you require work to be done on or around your home, it is best to obtain a phone number of a reputable contractor from your local business pages.

Prior to doing business with anyone soliciting door to door, you should ask for references and take the time to check on their work before hiring them.

Always get a second opinion and an estimate from a competitor. You may get a better deal.

Always insist on a contact for the project. Contracts should always specify a start date and completion date. Never pay for any portion of contract 'upfront'. No advances of any type. If the contractor is a reputable contractor he will have resources to perform and complete the project with out your needing to pay prior to completion.

If anyone comes to your door and tells you your house is in need of repairs, starts the work prior to your approval, or attempts to pressure you into any type of work on your home, call the Sheriff's Office or your local Law Enforcement agency immediately. DO NOT pay for any work started prior to your approval. Never allow anyone to talk you into doing work on your home.

If for any reason you believe you have been a victim of a fraud or that someone attempted to commit a fraud against you or someone you know, call the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office at (828) 250-6670.

Breaking and Entering

Breaking and Entering Suppression Team (BEST) Units consist of highly trained Detectives assigned to each patrol area within Buncombe County. For assistance with a Breaking and Entering or more information on The BEST Unit please contact the Investigations Division of the Sheriff's Office (828) 250-4436

Breaking and Entering of a Business Prevention Tips

Install lighting at the front and back as well as near any side doors of your business. Try to eliminate as many shadows as possible. Use only solid core doors. Be sure the doorframes cannot easily be jimmied.

Use deadbolts and be sure to change the locks every time an employee with access to them leaves.

Install burglar-resistant glass or use wire mesh or iron bars over all glass.

Arrange merchandise so that a passerby can see into the store. Keep your expensive merchandise away from the windows, toward the center of the store.

Keep front windows free from posters, etc., which will make a burglar inside more easily seen by a passerby.

Install and use a drop safe. Limit the amount of cash in the register and post signs indicating that a drop safe is used and register only has limited cash.

Check ventilation system to ensure it cannot be used to gain entry.