Man avoids 30 burglary-related charges after lab tests pry bar

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Paul Augustus Fuller (Courtesy VPRJ)
Paul Augustus Fuller (Courtesy VPRJ)

A Wilson, N.C. man will be extradited to South Carolina after 30 burglary-related charges were nolle prossed in the York County General District Court Monday afternoon.

Paul Augustus Fuller, 58, was charged with nine counts of entering a structure with intent to commit assault and battery, ten counts of possession of burglary tools, five counts of grand larceny, four counts of petit larceny and two counts of destruction of property in October, according to General District Court records.

The charges stemmed from a series of nighttime commercial burglaries along George Washington Memorial Highway in July 2013, the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office said when Fuller was charged in 2013.

Fuller was accused of burglarizing businesses along the highway, including Bead, Nail & Hair in the 1200 block, Great Atlantic Spas in the 1900 block, Super Cuts in the 4400 block, York Cleaners in the 4400 block, Sherwin Williams in the 4500 block, Becky’s Hallmark in the 5200 block, Adam’s Shoes in the 5200 block of Route 17, China Ocean in the 8000 block.

Paul Augustus Fuller, a 55-year-old North Carolina man, has been arrested in connection to a string of July burglaries along Route 17. Among the businesses Fuller is accused of burglarizing are the Supercuts and York Cleaners pictured here. He also attempted to break into the Starbucks in this building, however he was unsuccessful. (Gregory Connolly/WYDaily)
Among the businesses Paul Augustus Fuller, a 55-year-old North Carolina man, was accused of burglarizing are the Supercuts and York Cleaners pictured here. (WYDaily file photo)

In Oct. 2013, police said money and/or merchandise were stolen at each business.

The charges were all nolle prossed, meaning Fuller will not face the York County charges unless new evidence arises and a grand jury indicts him.

York County/Poquoson Commonwealth’s Attorney Benjamin Hahn said the prosecution was hoping to link a pry bar — which was recovered in connection to similar crimes Fuller was convicted of in South Carolina — to the York County burglaries.

The pry bar was submitted to a lab for testing, but could not be definitively connected to the York County crimes, Hahn said.

“It was a very long shot, but we didn’t want to leave any stone unturned,” Hahn said.

Fuller’s attorney, Carter Phillips, of Hampton, said the charges were nolle prossed after the case was continued several times. The investigator was also not there in court, Phillips said.

Fuller had been in custody of the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail since April, Phillips said. Court records show the case was continued three times since Fuller arrived in Virginia.

Phillips added that Fuller will be extradited to South Carolina, where he has a five year prison sentence to serve.

“He won’t get credit for the months in jail he served here,” Phillips said.

When asked whether the South Carolina sentence involved other burglary-related offenses, Phillips said he did not know.

Fuller was arrested in York County, S.C. and charged with multiple burglary, larceny and criminal conspiracy charges in connection to two incidents that occurred in August and September 2013, according to a news report from The Island Packet in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Fearing can be reached by phone at 207-975-5459.