HARRODSBURG — Officers in Mercer County believe they have identified a man responsible for about seven burglaries in the past two weeks.
Capt. Scott Elder of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office said they have reason to believe James Lopez Jr. of Somerset is the burglar because of patterns in the break-ins.
“We recovered some property and physical evidence at the scene that would lead us to believe it is him,” Elder said. “We’re pretty confident that he is the man we need to talk to.”
Elder said there have been similar burglaries in the surrounding counties of Boyle, Anderson, Casey, Lincoln and Garrard. The most recent Mercer County burglary was on Providence Road.
A warrant for Lopez’s arrest is active in Casey County, and Elder said after interviewing witnesses he hopes Mercer will have a warrant out as well.
Elder said all of the recent break-ins have had a forced entry through a back or side door, away from road view.
Elder said the suspect probably knocks to see if anyone is home before kicking in the doorway. Items reported stolen have been mostly jewelry and prescription narcotics, but a few electronics and weapons also have been reported missing.
“We want to apprehend him,” Elder said. “We want the burglaries to stop, of course. We don’t want him to think somebody’s not home, break in and something bad happen.”
Mercer County Crime Stoppers is offering an award of up to $500 for Lopez’s whereabouts, Elder said.
Lopez is about 42 years old.