Two men in custody after Monday burglary

Published 3:24 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Two men are in custody after breaking into a home in Greenville and stealing approximately $30,000 worth of jewelry and $50,000 worth of silver and antiques, according to Greenville Police Department Lt. Justin Lovvorn.

Joseph Johnson, Jr. and Paul Mark are being held in the Macon County Jail after a State Trooper pulled their car over on Interstate 85.

The burglary took place between 12:45 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., Lovvorn said.

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“The owners of the house had left, and no one was home,” Lovvorn said. “They returned around 4 p.m. that afternoon and realized that someone had gone in and taken several items.”

The police were notified and they searched the house and worked the scene.

“We found a possible entry point, and there was no major damage to the door or window but there was a small mark on one of the back doors that we could have assumed they could have used something small to open that door,” Lovvorn said.

A short time later, Lovvorn said he received a phone call from a State Trooper who had pulled a vehicle over with two men. The state trooper had pulled the vehicle over originally for not having a tag. He then noticed certain items in the vehicle.

“Several items that they had tracked back to Greenville were a McFerrin’s jewelry box or paper work with the jewelry,” Lovvorn said. “(The troopers) called down here and they actually asked if we had a jewelry store broken into. We got in touch with the troopers and got some of the property described and matched it up to be the property, and I knew then that they had our guys.”

Everything that was reported stolen has been recovered, Lovvorn said.

Both men appear to professional criminals from Louisiana who rented the vehicle at 8 a.m. in Louisiana and drove to Greenville, according to Lovvorn.

“We tracked them back to where they rented a car at 8 a.m. in Louisiana on (Monday) and traveled straight through to here,” Lovvorn said. “Both of them have a burglary on the record and are career criminals. They just happened to get off in Greenville and needed something here. It was just a random thing.”

Johnson and Mark are being held at the Macon County Jail. Lovvorn traveled to Macon County Tuesday to question the men and charge them with burglary, third degree and theft of property, first degree. The two will then be transported back to the Butler County Correction Facility.