Real life rock-throwing ‘Ernest T. Bass’ being more than mischievous in town that inspired Mayberry

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. -- In the hometown of Andy Griffith you'll find everything Mayberry, including souvenirs of everyone's favorite rock-throwing mountain man -- Ernest T. Bass. But in recent days, police here say what may look like the work of Ernest T. is no laughing matter.

"I was scared and really mad," said Rebecca Romero, owner of Patelicious Bakery. "There is no money -- why would they steal?"

Romero's bakery is one of four business hit by a rock-throwing thief.

"They hit us twice, once Friday morning and then again Sunday," Romero said.

Investigators say the thief is throwing rocks through store windows looking to steal. They hit Dance Works studio next door to the bakery on N.C. 89, Essence Nails and Spa on West Independence Boulevard and Sarah's Beauty Boutique in downtown.

"The glass was out of the door and all across the beauty shop," said Sarah Simpson, of Sarah's Beauty Boutique. "I came in and everything was ransacked, everything was out of the drawer out of these desk. I had a little money from selling church cookbooks and it was gone."

Investigators believe they may be getting close to finding the thief thanks to cameras throughout town.

"It cost us $500 to make repairs," Romero said. "We've added a camera to the inside of the bakery."