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Rock-toting burglary suspect arrested

A rock-toting burglary suspect who police called a one-man crime wave has been arrested in Gastonia.

Police believe Paul Beaty, 39, broke into 22 south Charlotte businesses over the last few weeks.

Beaty was arrested by Gastonia police Thursday night.

Police said he used the same rock to break into dozens of businesses, then took the rock with him when he fled. The image of him breaking windows with a rock has been caught on camera over and over again and was released to the media last week.

At one point, officers impounded Beaty's car, but the burglaries continued.

The circumstances of Beaty's arrest weren't available Thursday night, but police say he was a suspect in a Wednesday break-in at the Movie Gallery on West Franklin Boulevard.

The Charlotte break-ins occurred mostly in the Providence and South divisions. Police believe Beaty favored shopping areas with coffee shops, ice cream stores and cleaners.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg burglary detectives were headed to Gastonia late Thursday to interview Beaty.

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