GPD officers foil burglary in progress

Published 3:47 pm Friday, May 17, 2019

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Greenville Police Department officers on patrol during the early morning Mother’s Day foiled a burglary in progress.

Chief Justin Lovvorn said Friday afternoon that the department “would like to recognize the exceptional police work of its night shift officers.”

Lovvorn said the officers spotted a suspicious vehicle parked in from of a business on the Greenville Bypass early May 12.

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“The officers knew the vehicle was not there earlier when they did their building checks on all of the businesses in that area,” Lovvorn said. “There was no one around the vehicle, so officers began to check all the businesses in the area. A short time later, officers noticed a pair of bolt cutters outside of a storage building and the bottom of the door to one of the storage units was open slightly. They also heard a noise coming from inside the storage unit.”

Officers then positioned themselves around the storage unit and ordered the person inside to come out.

“The suspect then exited the storage unit wearing all black clothing and a hat and bandana covering his face,” Lovvorn said. “He was also wearing gloves. Officers were then able to take the subject in custody and found that he was armed with a knife on his person. Officers also found where the suspect had cut the lock to the storage unit and then stacked up several items that were in the storage unit by the door in order to load them up easily.”

Lovvorn said the suspect admitted that the vehicle found earlier by the officers a short distance from the storage unit was his. Officers then confirmed who the owner of the storage unit was and verified that the suspect was not authorized to have access to the unit, nor did the owner even know who the suspect was.

The suspect, Christopher James Cunningham, 36, of Tuskegee was then charged with third-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools and third-degree criminal mischief. Cunningham was also already on parole with the Department of Corrections.

“I would like to commend our patrol officers for their outstanding work and attention to detail,” Lovvorn concluded. “If it was not for their awareness and diligence, this crime may have gone unsolved. They are constantly working to make Greenville a safe place for all who live and visit here.”