• 97°

Macon County men arrested for shoplifting, vehicle break-in

A pair of Macon County men face multiple charges after they allegedly broke into a vehicle in the Walmart parking lot after shoplifting from the store.

James Cooper III, 28 of Tuskegee, and Joshua McCarty, 28, of Notasulga, were charged with unlawful breaking and entering a motor vehicle and theft of property, fourth degree.

According to authorities, the men stole an iPod from the electronics department and Walmart and then exited the store and began working their way through the parking lot looking for unlocked vehicles.

“They pulled on several car door handles to see if they were unlocked,” said Capt. Justin Lovvorn, commander of the Greenville Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division. “They found a vehicle that was unlocked and began to look through it. They took the owner’s wallet and other merchandise that had been left in the vehicle. They then got back in their vehicle and left the area.”

Lovvorn said investigators were able to use the store’s security video to get a description of the suspects, and determined they were most likely not from the area.

“We circulated the images of the two suspects to law enforcement throughout the state,” Lovvorn said. “A short time later, a Tallapoosa County investigator contacted us and said that he believed the two suspects were the same two he had arrested only a few months earlier for a burglary in his jurisdiction. Lt. (Joey) Disney tracked down the two suspects and was able to use the evidence that was collected from the scene at the Greenville Walmart to connect them to the crime.”

After being questioned at the Greenville Police Department, both men confessed, according to Lovvorn.

“We would like to take this opportunity to encourage people to be mindful of their property,” Lovvorn said. “If you are in town or even at home, it is always a good idea to keep your vehicle locked. This is a perfect example of opportunity thieves. They were not willing to break out a window to draw attention to themselves, but they would steal anything they could if they found one unlocked. Sometimes preventing a crime is as easy as locking your car door. Keep valuables locked up in the trunk and out of sight from anyone who may be looking into your vehicle while it is parked. If you see someone going from car to car in a parking lot, call the police with a description of that person and report their activity. It is always better safe than sorry.”