Bike-riding suspect charged with 4 school burglaries

A Fayette County burglary suspect who allegedly used a girl's 10-speed bicycle as a getaway vehicle has been charged with four break-ins at a Catholic high school, police said.

Waris Saleem was arrested early Monday morning after a Fayette County Sheriff’s deputy spotted him riding the bicycle away from Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School in Fayetteville.

Thursday, police said that they have charged the 27-year-old Saleem with four counts of burglaries for break-ins that occurred April 22, May 6, May 13 and Sunday.

A man fitting Saleem’s description had been recorded on surveillance video riding a bicycle following a break-in at the school last month, authorities said.

Sheriff's Deputy Charles Owens told Channel 2 Action News that he stopped Saleem, who he said was sweaty and nervous, and asked the man what was in his back pack.

"He suggested he didn't know what was in the backpack, that he got it from a friend,” the deputy said.

In the backpack, Owens said, he found a $400 digital image projector – the same type of equipment taken in the May break-in.

Investigators said Saleem is suspected in 10 to 13 burglaries in the area. Half of them occurred at the school.

Interviewed at the man’s Riverdale home, his mother Deanna Moody told Channel 2 that her son had been released from prison a year ago after serving a five-year sentence for burglary, and that he was on probation.

“He’s back in there over something stupid again,” Moody said.

Saleem is being held in Fayette County Jail.