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Alert residents help police find, arrest suspect in Mount Zion car burglaries
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Alert residents help police find, arrest suspect in Mount Zion car burglaries

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MOUNT ZION — Police said a serial car burglar in Mount Zion was arrested Sunday night after residents alerted law enforcement and one resident even tried to catch the suspect on his own.

A sworn affidavit from Mount Zion police said they were first alerted to suspicious activity at 7:04 p.m. when a woman driving in the 1600 block of Powers Court saw a man enter and rummage through the truck of her ex-husband.

Writing in the affidavit, Sgt. James Stevens said officers at the scene were approached by another resident who said he’d caught a man searching through the vehicle of a female friend.

The resident "approached the male and asked him what he was doing and the male began to run,” Stevens said. “(The resident) chased the male and grabbed him but the male wrestled free from him.”

Stevens said the resident was able to give police a detailed description of the man and, by 8:40 p.m., police were called to the area of Baltimore Avenue and West Main Street after more calls about a suspicious person searching around in vehicles.

This time the 31-year-old suspect was still present and told police he was walking back to the Lakeview Motel in Decatur. “... When officers made contact, he was walking in the opposite direction away from the hotel,” said Stevens. The man also had a bottle of prescription pills in his back pocket in the name of a woman who lived on Meadow View Drive. She confirmed her vehicle had been broken into and the pills stolen.

Later, Stevens said, the male resident who had tried to catch the man also identified him. The man was booked on preliminary charges of two counts of burglary from a motor vehicle, attempted burglary and possession of a controlled substance. All preliminary charges are subject to review by the state attorney’s office.

Macon County Jail records showed the man remained in custody Tuesday night in lieu of posting bail set at $5,000. Prosecutors had asked for bail to be set at $20,000.

Mug shots from the Herald & Review 

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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