There’s a strange affinity between robbery, donuts, and Bradley Hardison, 27, of Elizabeth City, North Carolina. One that led to his recent arrest, but reaches years into his past.
The unusual link goes back to August of 2014, when Hardison participated in a donut eating competition organized at the Elizabeth City Police Department’s National Night Out Against Crime event.
He won the contest by gobbling up eight glazed donuts in two minutes, which earned him an article in a local newspaper.
The next day, the article attracted the attention of Elizabeth City Police Lt. Max Robeson, who recognized Hardison as a suspect in at least three break-ins, WTKR reported.
“When I came in that morning and read that article I was pissed because it’s like throwing it in our face,” he said. “We’ve been looking for you for months. I didn’t ask him if he won a trophy—he probably did.”
In November 2013, Hardison allegedly broke into Family Paradise Grocery in South Mills. In May 2014, he allegedly broke into a storage building at the Shiloh Shopping Center on N.C. Highway 343. Robeson said nothing was stolen in either break-in.
The third break-in happened in December 2013 in Pasquotank County, where Hardison allegedly stole $5,000 in cash from Forbes Homes on North Road Street.
Hardison was arrested on Aug. 6, 2014, and later received a three-year suspended sentence.
“I did congratulate him,” Robeson said. “Because, I mean, that’s cool. Good for him. He can eat a lot of donuts.”
The sentence expired in October 2017.
A month later, on Nov. 21, somebody broke in a local Dunkin’ Donuts.
It was Hardison, according to the charges of felony breaking and entering, felony safecracking, and felony larceny filed against him on Thursday, Jan. 16, reported by The Virginian-Pilot.
He is currently being held on a $7,000 bond.