BURGIN — Police officers are continuing their search today for a man suspected of breaking into at least three homes in the Chimney Rock area near Herrington Lake, including a burglary on Monday in which the bandit struggled with a homeowner over a gun before escaping with a duffel bag full of jewelry.
Mercer County Sheriff Ernie Kelty said this morning officers have resumed their search of the area after failing to locate the man in an extensive manhunt Monday afternoon and evening.
“We searched between Ashley Camp Road and Chimney Rock very extensively for several hours,” Kelty said. “City police came out to help and at least three troopers were out there. The KSP dog was there, our dog. We had a lot of people out there.”
The suspect, a white male, was seen riding a blue bicycle. He has dark, curly hair and was wearing a red bandana on Monday, Kelty said. Police believe they know who the man is but won’t release his name until he is captured, the sheriff said.
A man on a bicycle fitting that description was seen near another burglary on Ashley Camp Road about two weeks ago and was reported in nearby Herrington Woods again on Monday. Kelty and Deputy Wes Gaddis were in the area looking for him when a burglary call came in about 1:30 p.m. from a home on Ashley Camp Road.
Kelty said homeowner Bruno Albiero came home for lunch and was in the kitchen when he heard noises in the back of the house. Albiero discovered a man, armed with Albiero’s handgun, on his knees going through drawers and stuffing valuables into a bag. Albiero and the man struggled over the weapon, with the man fleeing out a window after Albiero gained control, Kelty said.
The suspect escaped with the duffel bag, which contained jewelry that belonged to Albiero’s wife’s grandmother and was valued at about $30,000.
Kelty said the man was later seen on the porch of another home on Ashely Camp Road. When officers arrived, they found the home had been broken into but nothing was taken, the sheriff said.
Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call Kelty’s office at (859) 734-4221.