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2 men charged in violent crime spree spanning 5 counties, police say

Gunshots fired at Robeson County deputies during vehicle pursuit


Two Cumberland County men are charged with attempted murder and theft in connection with a five-county crime spree that included firing gunshots at pursuing deputies, according to the Fayetteville Police Department.

The investigation was a joint effort by the Police Department’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team and its Gang Unit as well as the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to an FPD news release.

Drayton Charles Bauer, 20, of the 4900 block of Pinewood Drive in Hope Mills, and Brandon Lee Hatler, 23, of the 2600 block of Belhaven Road in Fayetteville, were arrested Wednesday at a home in the 200 block of Woodglen Drive in Fayetteville, the release said.

Each is charged in a series of business break-ins spanning Cumberland, Robeson, Sampson, Johnston and Harnett counties, the release said.

They also are charged with firing gunshots at Robeson County deputies during a road chase.  

Robeson County authorities charged Bauer and Hatler with two counts each of attempted first-degree murder; two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm; eight counts of felony conspiracy; two counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle; three counts of safecracking; five counts of breaking and entering; attempted breaking and entering; four counts of larceny after breaking and entering; felony speeding to elude arrest; and injury to personal property.

Each of them is being held at the Robeson County Detention Center on a $2 million secured bond, the release said. 

Authorities in Sampson, Johnston and Harnett counties have charged Bauer and Hatler in connection with recent business break-ins as well. Both were previously charged in connection with multiple business break-ins in Fayetteville in May, the release said. Investigators said they used a stolen ATV in the Fayetteville break-ins.  

After the arrests of Bauer and Hatler, investigators searched the Woodglen Drive home and seized multiple items of evidence, including the stolen ATV. 

Additional charges are expected in the case, the release said.

The Fayetteville Police Department’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team is part of the SBI’s Fugitive and Missing Persons Task Force. Members of the NC SBI, Fayetteville PD VCAT and Gang unit, ATF, and Robeson County Sheriff’s Office arrested Drayton Bauer and Brandon Hatler. 

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Fayetteville, crime, Robeson County, Sampson County, Harnett County