A Ripley man has been charged in connection with a break-in on Cedar Lakes Drive.
Joshua Simons, 32, 20 Meadowlark Lane, Ripley, was charged with entry of a building other than a dwelling and attempted daytime burglary. Magistrate Jacqueline Casto set bond at $50,000.
According to a criminal complaint filed in magistrate court, on Monday, Nov. 26, someone called the Jackson County 911 center to report a suspicious man possibly “casing” the neighborhood in the 100 block of Cedar Lakes Drive.
Around 9:05 a.m., Deputy Julia Bowen went to Cedar Valley Drive and talked to the victim, who said his neighbor took a picture of a man walking around the victim’s residence. The man had been seen by several neighbors over the previous week, and they suspected he was “casing” the neighborhood.
The victim reported a tool box in his truck had been opened and items may have been missing. In addition, the victim told Bowen a building attached to the garage appeared to have been entered, and a screen had been removed from the back of the residence in a possible attempt to break into the home. There also were several items of women’s clothing and boxes on the ground near the window that did not belong to the victim.
The man in the photograph was wearing a brown Carhartt-style jacket and had a light blue backpack. Witnesses stated he was medium build and approximately 6 feet tall.
Bowen talked to the victim’s neighbor, who had also previously reported suspicious activity. He reported seeing the man in the breezeway of the victim’s home.
At approximately 9:29 a.m., as Bowen was searching the area, she saw a male wearing a tan Carrhart-style jacket with a light blue backpack in the area of Bluebird Lane at Rolling Meadows. When approached, the man identified himself as Josh Simons and stated that he lived on Meadowlark Lane at Rolling Meadows.
At this lime, Chief Ross Mellinger arrived at the scene. At first, Simons denied being in the area of Cedar Valley Road and said he had been to Bluebird Lane to visit a friend. When confronted with the information about the photograph, Simons allegedly then said he was in the area picking up junk, according to the criminal complaint.
According to the complaint, Simons allowed the officers to look through his backpack, where they found bolt cutters, a pulley, some car wash rags, and spray-on tire cleaner. Simons claimed ownership of the bolt cutters and pulley and said the car wash rags, tire spray, and other items were from outside of a residence and were items he believed to be trash.
Simons was also carrying a Sears tool box. When Mellinger asked where the tool box came from, Simons stated he found it with the other items he believed to be trash. The tool box contained a Sears wrench socket set.
The victim went to the sheriff’s department, where he identified the items.